Delta to Move Its Asian Hub?

Old Jan 23, 16, 10:28 pm
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Delta to Move Its Asian Hub?

The US and Japanese governments are currently working on a deal to allow ~10 daytime roundtrips from the US to Haneda. Delta is against this deal, as they say it would not let them transfer all of their flights from NRT to HND (as they would most likely get about 2-3 of the RT slots), leaving them split between the airports, while ANA/UA and JAL/AA would be able to transfer almost all of their flights. Delta is even threatening to abandon routes from NRT to PDX, MSP, ATL, and DTW if this deal happens.

With this in mind, I was wondering why Delta still has this hub in the first place. I know there was a thread a week or two ago about how Delta should open a hub at PVG, but I was thinking it should move its hub to ICN, where fellow SkyTeam member Korean Air has a massive operation. It would not be too difficult to start a JV with Korean Air, and I think it would be more beneficial to DL then a JV with China Eastern.

Korean Air ICN-US Destinations
ATL, ORD, DFW, HNL, IAH, LAS, LAX, JFK, SFO, SEA, IAD

China Eastern PVG-US Destinations
ORD, HNL, LAX, JFK, SFO

Delta NRT-US Destinations
ATL, DTW, HNL, LAX, MSP, JFK, PDX, SEA

Delta NRT-Asia Destinations
BKK, GUM, ROR, MNL, KIX, SPN, PVG, SIN, TPE

As you can see, Korean flies to more than double the number of cities in the US compared to China Eastern. Of the Asian cities Delta flies to from NRT, China Eastern doesn't serve GUM, ROR, and SPN compared to Korean only not serving SPN. In addition to this, ICN is closer to the US than PVG, and the US has a better relationship with Korea than China.

Of course, Delta could also just operate two hubs in Asia (PVG and ICN) like it does in Europe.
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Old Jan 23, 16, 11:26 pm
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The lack of real partnership between DL and KE has been a mystery for years. DL has obviously wanted one for years, but it seems KE feels it better to be operating on its own.
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Old Jan 23, 16, 11:32 pm
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Originally Posted by DA201 View Post
It would not be too difficult to start a JV with Korean Air
Couldn't be more wrong! DL and KE worked for years on trying to establish a JV but were unable to find common ground. Both sides have thrown in the towel. DL downgraded KE to a level 4 partner (closer to an enemy than a friend) and instead shifted its focus to China.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 5:36 am
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NRT logistically makes sense for DL. If DL is to move its Asia hub, PVG would make the most sense. Since China Eastern is based in PVG and China Southern has PVG as the 2nd biggest hub, DL in PVG could serve as a great China Gateway but that could quickly turn nasty for MU with it's PVG bound daily flights from most NA gateways. Whatever it is, I hope DL adds more flight from SFO to NRT (or wherever the next hub is at). For a loyal DL and SkyTeam guy like me, making more than one stop on the way to Asia is becoming a stress. I never understood why PDX makes a better western coast gateway than SFO. I hate UA with a passion, and would love to stay with DL and SkyTeam but the two hops through LAX/SEA/PDX and NRT is getting old.

I swear that DL's intra-Asia routes are run by the same set of crews. I keep seeing the same FAs on the NRT-TPE route and NRT-PVG route, on almost all my flights.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 6:02 am
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NRT logistically makes sense for DL. If DL is to move its Asia hub, PVG would make the most sense. Since China Eastern is based in PVG and China Southern has PVG as the 2nd biggest hub, DL in PVG could serve as a great China Gateway but that could quickly turn nasty for MU with it's PVG bound daily flights from most NA gateways. Whatever it is, I hope DL adds more flight from SFO to NRT (or wherever the next hub is at). For a loyal DL and SkyTeam guy like me, making more than one stop on the way to Asia is becoming a stress. I never understood why PDX makes a better western coast gateway than SFO. I hate UA with a passion, and would love to stay with DL and SkyTeam but the two hops through LAX/SEA/PDX and NRT is getting old.

I swear that DL's intra-Asia routes are run by the same set of crews. I keep seeing the same FAs on the NRT-TPE route and NRT-PVG route.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 9:37 am
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Intra Asian routes can be a combination of different based crews. I recently flew MSP-NRT and NRT-BKK the next day (overnight in NRT) and it was much of the same MSP crew. The purser said they get an overnight in NRT, 3-4 nights in the Asian city, 1 night on the way back in NRT, and back to the US. That's not a bad trip.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 9:48 am
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DA201, Don't forget that DL is still operating NRT-HKG-NRT five days a week as well.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by DA201 View Post
....I was thinking it should move its hub to ICN, where fellow SkyTeam member Korean Air has a massive operation. It would not be too difficult to start a JV with Korean Air.....
Originally Posted by kjnangre View Post
Couldn't be more wrong! DL and KE worked for years on trying to establish a JV but were unable to find common ground. Both sides have thrown in the towel. DL downgraded KE to a level 4 partner (closer to an enemy than a friend) and instead shifted its focus to China.
Group 4 partners for DL are for non-Skyteam partners. DL effectively kicked KE out of Skyteam for DL Skymiles members.

Reminds me of this:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...-imminent.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/korea...-imminent.html

Last edited by TerryK; Jan 24, 16 at 1:50 pm
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Old Jan 24, 16, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by TechMarauder View Post
Intra Asian routes can be a combination of different based crews. I recently flew MSP-NRT and NRT-BKK the next day (overnight in NRT) and it was much of the same MSP crew. The purser said they get an overnight in NRT, 3-4 nights in the Asian city, 1 night on the way back in NRT, and back to the US. That's not a bad trip.
That's the purser and the chaser (USA based FA doing the same route as the purser). All of the other FAs on the intraAsia flights are Asia based. The remainer of the USA based FAs on the TPAC routes just fly, for example, MSP-NRT and back after a day or so for rest.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 1:14 pm
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Would PVG as a hub be a working hub like NRT, insofar that would Delta be able to operate, on their own metal, PVG-SIN, MNL, BKK, HKG...basically all the intra-Asia flights it currently serves from NRT?

Maybe Delta would be better off taking Deliveries of 787's ASAP and starting to use SEA as its transitional hub to those South East Asia destinations?
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Old Jan 24, 16, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by GeorgieBoy4 View Post
DA201, Don't forget that DL is still operating NRT-HKG-NRT five days a week as well.
That is only temporary while SEA-HKG is reduced to 2 weekly frequencies. That route ends March 26.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 1:27 pm
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Originally Posted by kjnangre View Post
Couldn't be more wrong! DL and KE worked for years on trying to establish a JV but were unable to find common ground. Both sides have thrown in the towel. DL downgraded KE to a level 4 partner (closer to an enemy than a friend) and instead shifted its focus to China.
One of the big reasons for there being no JV is because of the NRT hub. Tokyo has always been the biggest city for American travelers in Asia, so in the past Delta has always wanted to keep a hub there, even though they currently have no partner. ICN has reached out to Delta in the past and asked Delta to move their hub to ICN and they have said no. Korean therefore has not wanted a JV, as they currently fly to more cities in the US than Delta does from Asia, and they would not be getting the connecting traffic with Delta's hub being at NRT, so they feel as if they would be getting the short end of the stick. If Delta said that it would move its hub to ICN and only fly from ICN to the US and give Korean the connecting traffic, then I think Korean would jump on this opportunity.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 1:47 pm
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I always wonder whether it is realistic to actually move that many traffic to PVG as the landing slots will be certainly be very limited
UA has been talking about getting more flights to PVG, but it never happened since they can't get the landing slots and I don't see how DL can manage to get all the flights in if it is going to happen
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Old Jan 24, 16, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by DA201 View Post
....If Delta said that it would move its hub to ICN and only fly from ICN to the US and give Korean the connecting traffic, then I think Korean would jump on this opportunity.
Probably. However, that's effectively killing DL pacific network.
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Old Jan 24, 16, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
Probably. However, that's effectively killing DL pacific network.
perhaps moving to TPE?
since CI is still in a relatively small fleet size and the service to US is only LAX, SFO, and JFK
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