American Airlines Tries To Nab Delta’s Tokyo Slot

It’s an interesting tactic. American Airlines has filed a complaint with the DOT stating that they should be able to take Delta’s Haneda slot. The crux of their argument is that given Delta’s significant reduction in flights from Seattle to Tokyo’s Haneda airport over the winter, the DOT should hand those rights to American who will operate daily service to Haneda.

You can hear commentary on Delta’s changes (as well as my thoughts on American Airlines in Argentina and United’s reductions) on this Dots, Lines and Destinations podcast I was a guest on.

Delta didn’t expect to see the volume of passengers this upcoming winter, thus the significant drop in frequency.  I’m pretty sure the DOT intent here wasn’t for one frequency a week to Haneda.  But, they still are flying the route and I don’t know that DOT has a strong enough reason to take away such a valuable slot.

Gotta wonder if the folks in Dallas were truly hoping for the slot or if they were just hoping DOT would force Delta to fly a bunch of empty planes.



  1. And you can hear the DL&D crew talk about this on the episode coming out on Thursday; we had a bit of fun with it.

    I have two thoughts on the topic:
    1) AA just wants DL to not have the slots. Maybe smart marketing but if everyone is losing money on those slots so often (that is why DL is suspending service and AA actually returned its slots to the DoT which is where UA got the option to operate the SFO-HND route which starts later this year) then wouldn’t AA want DL to keep flying it and losing more money?

    2) The only airline CEO I can name in recent memory who has returned a limited slot allocation to the DoT without even trying to fly the route is Doug Parker.

    1. I can’t wait! Doug has been so all over the board on more flying to Asia. He sounded very enthusiastic about their recent launches, less so while the merger was still in the midst of consummation.
      I wonder if Doug just wants another swing at things now that he’s in charge of a really big airline?

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