While Delta originally thanked the DOT for its decision to allow the airline to continue SEA-HND fights, they are now strongly protesting the set terms. Here’s their statement from early last week:
At the most basic level, the proposed condition deviates from past practice because, as far as Delta is aware, the department has never previously imposed such a strict 365-day-a-year service requirement. Any two days of non-service in a seven-day period would summarily strip Delta of slot authority. Faced with that exacting threat, the condition would create improper incentives to maintain scheduled service at all costs, when flights might otherwise be canceled, delayed, or rescheduled out of safety or other operational concerns.
Of course, American thinks the DOT should enforce it’s requirement:
Undoubtedly, Delta will request the department eliminate or reduce these necessary safeguards on its use of the Seattle-Haneda slot pair. The more Delta protests these safeguards, the more skeptical the department should be of Delta’s willingness to abide by its daily year-round service commitment.
For full details see – DOT: Delta Can Keep SEA-HND…but it’s AA’s if the flight isn’t operated daily!