American calls for Haneda route flexibility

San Francisco
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American Airlines has called on the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to give all US airlines serving Tokyo Haneda the flexibility to shift their gateway city, in response to a tentative decision allowing Delta Air Lines to shift the gateway for one its two Haneda route authorities.

The Fort Worth-based Oneworld alliance member asks for the flexibility to change gateways without DOT approval similar to what is allowed for Brazil route authorities, in a regulatory filing on 26 November.

The comments followed the DOT's tentative approval of Delta's application to shift the gateway of its Detroit to Haneda flight to Seattle on 15 November. American had sought the route authority for a flight between Los Angeles and Haneda, Hawaiian Airlines between Kona and Haneda, and United Airlines between San Francisco and Haneda.

"While we are disappointed in the outcome, and continue to believe that our proposed Los Angeles [to] Haneda flights would best serve the public interest and enhance inter-alliance competition, we recognise that objections at this point are unlikely to succeed," says American in the filing.

United filed a comment with the DOT objecting to the decision and asked the agency to reconsider its tentative ruling or to at least give the Chicago-based Star Alliance member back-up authority for the route.

Atlanta-based Delta filed a comment saying that it was "very pleased" with the decision.