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US Department of Transportation approves Delta Air Lines Seattle-Haneda

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) approved Delta Air Lines' request to operate daily nonstop flights between Seattle and Tokyo Haneda.

ATLANTA- With Seattle becoming again a gateway to Asia for Delta Air Lines, the approval by the US Department of Transportation DOT to concede the route Tokyo-Haneda to Delta will strengthen Seattle’s positioning on the US West Coast.

The approval follows two rounds of bidding by Delta, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines for the single route authority at Haneda, after the Atlanta-based SkyTeam alliance member requested DOT approval to shift the gateway of its Detroit-Haneda flight to Seattle in June 2012.

“We would like to thank the DOT for approval of our new service between Seattle and Haneda,” says Richard Anderson, chief executive of Delta, in a statement. “Delta’s new flights will significantly benefit consumers in the region as well as boost the economy and create jobs by opening new doors for commerce with Asia.”

The carrier will operate the flight on 225-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft from 1 June. “Only Delta’s proposal would open Haneda access to a new region of the country and result in a greater number of geographic service options for the travelling public,” says the DOT in its decision.

American proposed a flight between Los Angeles and Haneda, Hawaiian between Kona and Haneda, and United between San Francisco and Haneda. American and Hawaiian dropped their proposals after a preliminary decision favouring Delta from the DOT this past November, however, the former requested that all US carriers holding a Haneda route authority be granted the flexibility to change their US gateway.

The remaining three US carrier flights to Haneda are American from New York John F. Kennedy (JFK), Delta from Los Angeles and Hawaiian from Honolulu.

Delta is in the midst of an expansion of its Seattle focus city that includes new service to Los Angeles from 8 April and Shanghai Pudong from 17 June.

(Source: Flight Global Pro)

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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.