Delta Will Become Tokyo Haneda’s Largest US Carrier

Delta Air Lines is set to become Tokyo Haneda’s largest US carrier. This comes after a slot allocation request approved by the Department of Transportation. For the airline, this is good news.

Delta A350
Delta is the largest US carrier at Haneda. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Delta at Haneda

With seven daily flights to the United States from Tokyo-Haneda, this will make Delta the largest U.S. carrier to serve Haneda. Delta will fly to Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Honolulu, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Portland. Of these, Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles are Delta hubs.

Delta Airlines Airbus
Delta will operate all flights to Haneda instead of Narita. Photo: Delta Airlines

Delta is scheduled to move flights from Narita to Haneda in March of 2020. With this move, Delta will also close its crew base in Tokyo.

The onboard product

Except for Honolulu and Portland, Delta will offer their latest Delta One Suites and Delta Premium Select on routes to Tokyo. These will be found on aircraft like the A330-900neo, retrofitted Boeing 777-200ER, and Airbus A350-900.

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Delta will fly the latest Delta One Suites to Tokyo on five of seven routes. Photo: Delta Air Lines

In Delta One, the 767-300ER that will fly between Haneda and Honolulu features staggered lie-flats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Meanwhile, the Airbus A330 features reverse herringbone seats. Most would prefer the reverse herringbone seats over the staggered fully-flat.

Delta One
The reverse herringbone seats in Delta One on A330 aircraft are a superior hard product compared to the 767. Photo: Jay Singh/Simple Flying

In addition, passengers in the Main Cabin will receive an enhanced dining service that intends to elevate the experience. Furthermore, every seat will have seatback inflight entertainment available. This comes alongside free inflight mobile messaging through WiFi-based services.

Delta’s new service to Manila

In the news statement, Delta also inserted a route announcement. After announcing a move from Narita to Haneda, Delta suspended routes to Singapore and Manila. These were served on Delta metal through Tokyo as a connecting option. However, Delta is also reshuffling their flight to Manila. Instead of serving Manila via Tokyo, Delta will serve Manila via Seoul-Incheon.

Delta aircraft
Delta will offer service to Manila via Seoul. Photo: Delta Air Lines

This is announcement represents the preservation of another route as Delta recently drew out of Asia. As part of this, Delta ended flights to Singapore and, previously, Hong Kong. Delta will not be reinstating flights to Singapore. Instead, this city will be served through Skyteam partner Korean Air.

Delta and Korean
Delta Air Lines passengers will be able to travel to Singapore via Seoul on Korean Air. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Overall

While Delta will be the largest US carrier at Tokyo-Haneda, it is the only mainland US carrier serving Tokyo without a Japanese partner. American Airlines has Japan Airlines and United Airlines has ANA. With most of Delta’s Japan passengers serving as origin and destination demand, the central location of Haneda is better for terminating passengers in Tokyo. Narita Airport, on the other hand, is quite far from Tokyo’s city center.

However, Delta’s switch to Haneda over Narita does not add any new service from the United States to Japan.

What do you make of Delta becoming the largest carrier at Haneda? Let us know in the comments!

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Alan

As I understand, Delta Airlines had been slowly dismantling this hub they inherited from Northwest Airlines for a very long time. That is why they tried to build up a hub in Seattle, so that Seattle could serve as their Asian gateway instead of Tokyo. Historically, the Tokyo hub gave Delta/Northwest a unique advantage to fly to some interesting destinations like Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Taiwan that other US carriers really could not fly to. I can see that they would have difficulty competing with JAL and ANA in Tokyo, which offer a better product and more destinations, but they… Read more »