American Airlines and Delta Air Lines continued their war of words over landing slots at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.
In a filing made on Tuesday, American refuted Delta’s claims that the Fort Worth-based carrier has not fulfilled its promises to the U.S. Department of Transportation to start service between Tokyo Haneda and Los Angeles in a timely manner. American also accused Delta of hypocrisy in its attempt to take the Haneda slots away from American.
“Delta continues to pursue its Haneda vendetta against American and the United States Government through a concoction of repeated inaccuracies, disingenuous “suggestions,” and huge doses of chutzpah,” the filing said.
American said it is working to get commercially-viable slots at the Tokyo airport that is closest to downtown and will launch the service as soon as it can. It also argued that Delta was partly to blame for the difficulties U.S. airlines have in obtaining landing slots at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.
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“As everyone who has been involved in U.S.-Japan aviation issues already knows, U.S. carriers are in the current “meager traffic rights” situation precisely because of Delta’s persistent intransigence and very public opposition in allowing U.S.-Japan aviation liberalization to evolve. At every step since 2010, Delta has created roadblocks and obstacles to liberalizing or resolving the Haneda slot issues. If there is any finger pointing to be done for who is to blame for the limited access to Haneda, that finger must point solely to Delta,” the filing said.
Earlier this month, Delta asked the government to take the slots away from American because American had yet to schedule service to Tokyo Haneda airport as it had promised.
“The Department should reject American’s weak excuse that its own failure is actually a “government-to-government” problem,” Delta said in a filing made last week. “The Department must hold all carriers to their promises, or none. American’s failure to
meet its startup commitment requires that the slots be returned to the unallocated pool.”
Delta had previously held the slot to fly from Seattle to Tokyo Haneda back to the DOT in June and flew its last flight between the two cities on September 30. When Delta gave back its slots in mid-June, American was then given the slots. However, the slots could not be used until October 1. Delta said in its filing that American did not meet a 60-day start-up condition that had been discussed with the DOT.
Currently there are four slots for U.S. airlines to use at Haneda. Hawaiian Airlines operates Honolulu-Haneda service and United Airlines operates a San Francisco-Haneda route. Delta had two slots, one from Seattle and the other from Los Angeles.