Delta Air Lines will end service on three routes from
Tokyo's Narita Airport, including service from New York's John F. Kennedy
International Airport, this fall, citing a competitive disadvantage resulting
from the U.S. Department of Transportation's decision
last month on new daytime slots at the closer-in Haneda Airport.
While Delta received two of those five slots, shifting its
nighttime service from Los Angeles and gaining a new route from Minneapolis, it
also lacks a Japanese joint-venture partner to supplement its service, while
United Airlines and American Airlines have partnerships with ANA and Japan
Airlines, respectively. As such, Delta's position in the market is
"significantly weakened," the carrier's Asia/Pacific senior vice
president Vinay Dube said on a Delta blog.
"Delta has long held that the U.S.
government should insist that the Tokyo Haneda Airport be fully opened for
competition, like all other international airports in countries with which the
United States has Open Skies agreements," according to Dube. "By
forcing Delta to maintain a split operation in Tokyo with operations at both
[Haneda] and [Narita], valuable traffic will be syphoned away from Delta’s remaining
[Narita] flights to competitors’ more convenient [Haneda] flights."
Besides the JFK route, Delta also will
cancel service between Narita and each Osaka and Bangkok, although all canceled
routes are covered by at least one of Delta's codeshare partners, Dube said.
Delta will continue its other service at Narita, including to Seattle,
Portland, Detroit, Atlanta, Shanghai, Taipei, Singapore and Manila.
The DOT could finalize its approval of the
Haneda daytime flights as early as this fall.