American Airlines will not be flying to Tokyo’s Haneda airport out of Los Angeles.
At least, not yet.
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Friday that it was allowing Delta Air Lines to continue operating its Seattle-Haneda route as long as the Atlanta-based carrier met certain service requirements on the route.
If Delta does not meet those requirements, American will be given the authority to operate a Los Angeles-Haneda route but it’s “backup award” is only good for the next two years.
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“The Department has tentatively decided to continue allocation of this slot pair to Delta for daily scheduled combination services between Seattle and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, subject to the strengthened conditions and protective measures described below which are designed to ensure that Delta maintains a year-round daily service in the market,” the ruling said.
The DOT said Delta has to file quarterly reports regarding its usage of the route and that Delta must operate daily service unless it has received a waiver from the DOT.
American had previously held a slot at Haneda, using it for flights out of New York’s JFK airport. However, the airline gave up the slot in 2013, saying that the flight was unprofitable because of the restricted hours on the slot which limited passengers’ options for connecting flights to other Asian destinations.
When it asked the DOT to reexamine Delta’s use of the slot last fall, American said it would use the slot on service out of Los Angeles.
Currently there are four slots for U.S. airlines to use at Haneda. Hawaiian operates a Honolulu-Haneda service and United Airlines operates a San Francisco-Haneda route. Delta has two slots, one from Seattle and the other from Los Angeles.