The Port of Seattle has welcomed the final approval by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for the new Delta Air Lines service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Tokyo Haneda. The new non-stop flight adds to Delta’s expansion in Seattle as a gateway to Asia which includes new service to Shanghai on June 17 and current flights to Tokyo Narita, Osaka and Beijing.
“This new route opens continued growth opportunities for travel, tourism and business,” said John Creighton, Port of Seattle Commissioner. “Delta’s expansions in their gateway routes from Seattle help make us even more competitive to grow as a region.”
“As we pursue the port’s Century Agenda, this helps us towards the goals of making Sea-Tac the ‘Gateway of Choice’ for international travel and doubling international flights and destinations. Expanding Sea-Tac’s reach will benefit everyone in the region,” added Port of Seattle Commission President Tom Albro.
Haneda is a major benefit for travellers looking for a more convenient location within central Tokyo rather than the more distant location of Narita. Flight slots are highly regulated into Haneda and up until recently international links operations were severely restricted. According to sources familiar with discussions Seattle secured the new Haneda route with Delta ahead of four other US cities, Los Angeles (by American Airlines), San Francisco (United Airlines) and Kona, Hawaii (Hawaiian Airlines).
The Haneda service will complement three current Tokyo-Narita services at Sea-Tac. It will be operated by a Boeing 767-300ER, while Delta’s existing Seattle – Tokyo Narita route will be expanded and upgraded to a 747-400 service from June 1, 2013.
“Delta’s new service to Haneda would not have been possible without the overwhelming support we received from numerous business, community and airport leaders throughout the Northwest region,” said Andrea Newman, Senior Vice President – Government Affairs, Delta Air Lines.