Delta threatens to pull MSP-NRT flight

Old Jan 13, 16, 2:58 pm
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Delta threatens to pull MSP-NRT flight

This would be bad news for MSP flyers and the MSP hub as well.

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincitie...t-flights.html

Delta Air Lines said it would be forced to end direct service between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Tokyo if a proposal to alter airport operations in Japan moves forward.
The Japanese and U.S. governments are discussing a proposal to open Tokyo International Airport in Haneda to more carriers, moving traffic away from the Tokyo metroís other airport in Narita, said Delta Chief Legal Officer Ben Hirst.
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Old Jan 13, 16, 4:11 pm
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I'm confused, isn't flying into HND considered a good thing?
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Old Jan 13, 16, 4:38 pm
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I guess there worried about passengers not connecting wanting to take the new HND flights over the NRT flights (which of course would be true if the times aren't horrible like usual).
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Old Jan 13, 16, 5:13 pm
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Another day, another DL threat.

A lobbying effort to rile up their constituencies in advance of the bi-lateral negotiations with Japan.
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Old Jan 13, 16, 5:25 pm
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If that airport loses connecting flights to other destinations, Delta would end its Minnesota flights to Japan altogether.
"It would kill Narita as an international airport," Hirst said.
...before adding, "I mean, we've been trying to kill off the useful connections from NRT for years, but it would be great to have some excuse to force us to get rid of the rest."
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Old Jan 13, 16, 6:26 pm
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How is it legal for Delta to fly to NRT then to say, SIN picking up passengers and competing against JL but claim it is illegal for ME3 to have a stop over in FCO on the way to DXB from JFK?
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Old Jan 13, 16, 6:33 pm
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DL inherited NW's fifth freedom rights from Japan in the merger. The ME3 have no such rights from Italy.

Last edited by LBJ; Jan 13, 16 at 7:03 pm
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Old Jan 13, 16, 6:39 pm
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Not that difficult to understand. A successful mini-hub (or any hub for that matter) depends on a mix of O&D as well as connecting traffic. If HND opens up to US carriers more (and with better day time slots), it will be incremental at most, and there will be no way that DLís current NRT operation (about 20+ daily flights) can all move over to HND. DL will be stuck with a half-a** Tokyo operation: it cannot afford to let the other US carriers get all the new HND flights/slots (these will become more valuable if daytime slots are allowed as O&D traffic would prefer HND with more favorable schedules) so it will try to get some. However, having a few more HND flights will start to cannibalize the O&D portion of its USA-NRT flights as it still has to keep a good portion of its operation at NRT. The current situation with LAX-HND and LAX-NRT is different in that LAX is one of the largest markets to/from Japan. However, most of DLís other USA gateways with current flights to NRT will have difficulty sustaining flights to BOTH NRT and HNDÖ

As to why MSP is being singled out, itís probably because its portion of O&D traffic to NRT is weaker and many Midwest connections that go through MSP now can also flow through DTW.
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Old Jan 13, 16, 7:02 pm
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Originally Posted by danielchee View Post
How is it legal for Delta to fly to NRT then to say, SIN picking up passengers and competing against JL but claim it is illegal for ME3 to have a stop over in FCO on the way to DXB from JFK?
I would guess that because DL is primarily after passengers from SIN to the US, and not looking to really fly people SIN to TYO. Plus DL really only uses NRT as a hub is it's not really logistically feasible to fly from the US to BKK, MNL, SIN, etc.

The ME3 are looking to transport people from Europe to the US and back, and wanting to now stop in Europe only to try to capture O/D traffic Europe to US.
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Old Jan 13, 16, 7:14 pm
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
DL inherited NW's fifth freedom rights from Japan in the merger. The ME3 have no such rights from Italy.
I didn't know about the inherited fifth freedom rights. Thanks.
Is there a place one can check to see if an airline has certain rights? Like in the case of NYC-FCO-DXB, it's a combination of 7th and 1st freedom rights no?
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Old Jan 13, 16, 7:19 pm
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Interesting move by Delta. If MSP is at risk, how about SLC and PDX which both can easily be flowed via SEA?

I am one that believes that there is now entirely too much capacity between the lower 48 and NRT/HND. Many more flights today than say 10 years ago. At the same time the following changes have occurred:

* US airline mergers causing 6 carriers to become 3.
* Opening up of HND to flights from the US thereby
dividing the traffic between two TYO airports.
* The gradual de-hubbing of NRT by both UA (although
they can rely on NH to carry onward traffic) and DL.

All these factors must cause the airlines to rethink traffic flows. Is MSP really the weakest link? I would have thought that SLC was.
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Old Jan 13, 16, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Seat 1F View Post
Interesting move by Delta. If MSP is at risk, how about SLC and PDX which both can easily be flowed via SEA?


All these factors must cause the airlines to rethink traffic flows. Is MSP really the weakest link? I would have thought that SLC was.
Delta hasn't flown SLC-NRT in quite a few years now. As for PDX, it's also less costly to operate (using a 763ER and shorter stage length), and I believe it has corporate contracts (Nike, etc.)

The current USA points with nonstops to NRT are: HNL, LAX, SEA, PDX, MSP, DTW, ATL, and JFK.
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Old Jan 13, 16, 7:40 pm
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Originally Posted by ClipperDelta View Post
Delta hasn't flown SLC-NRT in quite a few years now. As for PDX, it's also less costly to operate (using a 763ER and shorter stage length), and I believe it has corporate contracts (Nike, etc.)

The current USA points with nonstops to NRT are: HNL, LAX, SEA, PDX, MSP, DTW, ATL, and JFK.
Thanks for that. I thought DL still was flying SLC-NRT. In spite of that, I still believe my theory makes sense. So many new flights(from all carriers) from the lower 48 to TOY the last 10 years plus the dilution of the route flows with flights now going to HND as well. DL does have a point. Wouldn't surprise me if the Minneapolis community came up with incentives to save this flight. Maybe that is the DL end-game here.
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Old Jan 13, 16, 8:00 pm
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It is entirely possible that if US airlines want daytime HND rights, they must give up NRT-Asia portion in return. UA has all ready dehubbed NRT and entered into a joint venture with NH. Now its DL turn to pull down NRT-ASIA operation.

AC @ YYZ had daily to both NRT and HND, @ YVR NH has HND and AC has NRT. With daytime slots, its possible for a North American city to have both HND and NRT.
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Old Jan 13, 16, 8:11 pm
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My impression is that TPAC Tokyo capacity has been cut greatly. The DL SFO-NRT flight is completely gone as is DTW-HND. Aircraft sizes have been down gauged, for example from 747 to 777 to A330 for the MSP flight. Moreover, MSP and DTW used to have more than one daily flight, with MSP being 14 times per week for most of the year during the PMNW days and DTW having IIRC three flights then, including a convenient very late evening departure for those with destinations in Japan or who must take overnight connections in Asia anyway.
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