Delta Air Lines has asked the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to award frequencies at Tokyo Haneda International airport to US carriers without a specified gateway.
The move would include the current competition for one frequency that American Airlines will return to the regulator in December, as well as the three previously awarded frequencies, according to a regulatory filing on 19 November.
“The US-Japan aviation marketplace is rapidly evolving, and it is important for carriers to have flexibility to respond to changes in the marketplace as they occur, without the need for successive route case proceedings,” says Atlanta-based Delta in the filing.
It cites open skies principles and mentions the Air Canada’s day flight between Vancouver and Haneda that begins on 31 March 2014 as an example of the changing market dynamic.
US carriers are limited to arrivals between 22:00 and 07:00 Tokyo time, and departures between midnight and 07:00. The Canadian carrier does not face similar restrictions.
Hawaiian Airlines opposes Delta’s request in a separate filing. It calls the proposed change “radical” and argues that it would open the door to airlines duplicating service in one market and decreasing options from other gateways.
The Honolulu-based carrier has filed an application for American’s frequency to launch daily Kona-Haneda service. It already operates a daily flight between Honolulu and Haneda.
United Airlines, which is seeking American’s frequency for a new daily San Francisco-Haneda flight, has not filed a response to Delta’s request.