The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has rejected a request by Delta Air Lines to allow US carriers to operate to Tokyo Haneda International airport from any US gateway.
The regulator says that such a change would be a “fundamental change to the character of the current proceeding” and that the Atlanta-based carrier has not “adequately demonstrated” a need for the change, in a filing today.
US carriers are limited to four Haneda frequencies, of which Delta has two with flights from Los Angeles International and Seattle Tacoma International airports, and Hawaiian Airlines one from Honolulu International.
Hawaiian and United Airlines are competing for the fourth frequency with proposals for flights from Kona and San Francisco, respectively.
Delta requested the change as part of the current slot proceeding in November. It cited a rapidly evolving US-Japan market and the gateway flexibility US carriers have for frequencies to Brazil in its filing.
Hawaiian objected to Delta’s request unless the DOT reviewed all Haneda frequencies, including those already awarded, under the new rules.
Delta would like to relocate all of its operations at Tokyo Narita International airport to Haneda, chief executive Richard Anderson told Airline Business in November.