Delta Air Lines announced yesterday (09/09/19) the sale of tickets for routes from seven US cities to Tokyo Haneda. The announcement comes less than a month after the airline promised to move all of its Tokyo-bound flights from Narita to Haneda from March of next year.
Delta customers are now able to buy tickets for non-stop travel from seven US departure points to Haneda airport. New routes include those from Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Honolulu and Portland, Oregon, according to the carrier’s most recent press release.
The airline also highlights the role its domestic network will play in the new scheduling. A bolstered home market, it says, will provide US passengers with more frequent connections to Haneda-bound flights.
Since 2017, Delta has striven to build a sturdy domestic network. Branded fares now account for nearly half of the carrier’s growth in passenger revenue.
Writes Delta, “The airline will offer industry leading product, with unparalleled operational reliability and service on seven daily flights to Haneda from cities throughout the U.S.”
With the launch of the new routes, Delta becomes the largest U.S. carrier to serve Tokyo’s most convenient airport. This is a sure sign that it hopes to put behind it a long-standing sallow performance in the Asian market caused by stiff competition.
Narita to Haneda
Reasons for the change are not hard to find.
Haneda is a more convenient airport for visitors to central Tokyo than Narita. The airport is located just 12 miles south of the city whereas Narita is sited 35 miles due east. Hence, passengers arriving at Haneda can more easily and quickly reach the city: a bonus for business travelers.
Prior to the airport authority’s building a large international terminal at Haneda in 2010, the airport was largely the domain of Japanese domestic flights. That left Narita as the sole primary destination for most international travelers.
Since then many airlines have moved ops to Haneda or have continued to serve both airports, allowing passengers greater freedom to choose where they will land.
In light of Tokyo’s preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympics, the Japanese government has increased slot capacity at both Haneda and Narita airports. Recently, an additional 12 slots were granted to US airlines at Haneda, reports OMAT.
The government has also given the go-ahead for a new rail connection between Haneda and the city. The travel time on this is estimated to be 18 minutes.
Delta in Japan
On August 15th Delta Air Lines announced its intention to move all of its Tokyo ops to Haneda airport. US-Japan ops are expected to be transferred in their entirety from the beginning of March 2020. This, in a turnaround from six years ago when the lack of allocated slots at the airport was regarded by various US airlines as unprofitable.
Delta is this time optimistic about its move, especially in light of the expansion of slot capacity already granted at the airport. In its press release, the carrier says it intends to open a new Delta Sky Club in Haneda, “with nearly 9,000 sq. ft. for guests to enjoy“. This Delta hopes to have completed by the summer of 2020.
Up until yesterday’s announcement, Delta operated daily flights between Narita and Atlanta, Detroit, Honolulu, Portland (Oregon) and Seattle. Only flights from Los Angeles and Minneapolis landed at Haneda.