Delta has formally responded to both American and Hawaiian’s bids to take away their Seattle (SEA) – Haneda (HND) slots. In the 33 page response, Delta said that:
American and Hawaiian’s efforts to strip Seattle and Washington State of their only Haneda flight and move the slots to abundantly served states in California and Hawaii is contrary to the public interest. If service were taken away from Seattle it would be the largest U.S.-Tokyo O&D gateway without nonstop service to Haneda. Seattle would also be the largest west coast business center without Haneda service, placing Seattle and the Pacific Northwest region at a disadvantage to the well-served cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles (to say nothing of Hawaii which currently enjoys 3 of 8 Haneda opportunities). Delta is demonstrably and deeply committed to growing its Seattle hub and to daily flying of the Seattle-Haneda route beginning this March and continuing through the winter and summer seasons beyond. It is manifestly in the public interest to allow Delta to do so, rather than to revoke Seattle’s only Haneda connection in favor of the over-served Los Angeles or Hawaii gateways.
In total, Delta notes six reasons why they should be allowed to keep the route, including the promise of a return to daily service…a promise they made when they originally won the slot. At times, the reasoning is contradictive – describing their “superior” connection opportunities due to the Alaska Airlines codeshares, then knocking them and noting the potential for increased interest in the route as they continue to transition more service to their own metal. It’s an interesting read that you should check out.
American of course provided a lengthy rebuttal to Delta’s response. AA comments on Delta’s blaming of Alaska Airlines for the lack of success on the SEA-HND route as well as the “hypocritical” nature of DL’s other responses. They conclude that many of Delta’s reasons to fix the service won’t work and that the route will likely return to seasonal service. Check out AA’s full rebuttal here.