American Airlines said Thursday it will continue to expand its Asian network with a flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport after Delta Air Lines announced it would give up its slot at the Japanese airport later this year.
“We’re excited to return to Haneda with daily year-round service from our Los Angeles hub,” said American spokesman Matt Miller. “It’s great news for our customers who want closer access to downtown Tokyo.”
The Fort Worth-based carrier will get the take-off and landing slot from Delta, which informed the U.S. Department of Transportation this week that it would no longer use the slot at Tokyo’s close-in airport to fly from Seattle in late September.
“Delta has determined that its Seattle-Haneda service is not viable under the current regulatory and market conditions, and therefore will suspend service,” said Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter, noting that its last flight will leave Tokyo Haneda on Sept. 30. “After those operations, Delta will return the slot to the Department of Transportation.”
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American had complained to the DOT last year that Delta was not adequately using its Haneda slot by operating only seasonal service from Seattle. After launching an investigation, the DOT decided this spring that if Delta did not meet minimum service requirements, American would get the slot.
The carrier has previously said it will use a Boeing 777-200 aircraft on the Los Angeles-Haneda route. American recently announced plans to launch nonstop service between Los Angeles and Sydney in December.
American previously held a slot at Haneda, using it for flights out of New York. However, the airline gave up the slot in 2013, saying it was unprofitable because of the restricted hours, which limited options for connecting flights to other Asian destinations.
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.
Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631