Updated with comments from American, Delta and United.

Delta Air Lines came out ahead in the US Department of Transportation's allocation of five new daytime slot pairs at Tokyo Haneda International airport.

The Atlanta-based SkyTeam Alliance carrier received two slot pairs, one to continue its service from Los Angeles and one for new service from its Minneapolis/St Paul hub, US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx announces today.

Minneapolis “provides an opportunity to provide Haneda access from a northern hub city”, he says during a media briefing.

"Delta is thrilled with the Department of Transportation’s tentative decision to award LAX and MSP direct service to Tokyo-Haneda airport," says a spokeswoman for Delta.

American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines each received one daytime slot pair to maintain their existing Haneda flights: Los Angeles, Honolulu and San Francisco, respectively.

DOT Haneda awards chart

"Providing daytime service to the heart of Tokyo from our San Francisco hub... will create appealing new business and leisure travel opportunities for our global customers," says a spokesman for Chicago-based United.

American also sought a pair for new Dallas/Fort Worth-Tokyo Haneda service, Delta for Atlanta-Haneda service and United for Newark-Haneda service.

However, American has received back-up authority for Delta’s new Minneapolis-Haneda route, which is subject to the standard 90-day dormancy rules, from the DOT. The move came in response to Delta's past use of a nighttime slot pair it first received for Detroit-Haneda service and later Seattle-Haneda service.

The pair was reallocated to American after Delta declined to operate the slots under a stringent set of service standards set by the regulator in 2015.

"American is pleased to have been awarded a daytime slot pair to continue our Los Angeles-Haneda service, but we’re disappointed our proposed Dallas/Fort Worth service wasn’t included in the Department’s primary allocation," says a spokesman for the airline. "American is considering all of its options with respect to the Department's tentative decision.”

In addition to the five slot pairs awarded today, Hawaiian previously received the one nighttime slot pair available to US carriers for split service to Honolulu and Kona from the close-in Tokyo airport.

Minneapolis/St Paul was selected over Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth and Newark primarily because of its northern Midwest location, the DOT tentative decision states.

“In light of the new more favourable operating conditions at Haneda, Delta’s Minneapolis service proposal provides an ideal opportunity to again address the Department’s goal of providing Haneda access from a Northern/Midwestern hub city with a substantial catchment area in the Midwestern and Eastern United States,” the decision says.

The new daytime slot regime at Haneda replaces four nighttime-only slot pairs, of which American, Delta, Hawaiian and United each held one.

Source: Cirium Dashboard