Is Delta Ready to Bow out of the Japan Market after Skymark Loss?

Last week, Delta was defeated by ANA in their attempt to lead a restructuring effort for bankrupt Japan low cost carrier – Skymark Airlines.

The loss also means that Delta will not have access to Skymark’s 36 landing slots at Haneda Airport (these slots are allocated for domestic flights only but Delta likely hoped to use them to create connectivity with some of their off-hour arrivals). Coupled with Delta’s failed attempt at stealing JAL from American, is Delta ready to pack up and overfly Japan besides a few token hub flights?

According to The Street, it’s a scenario that is becoming more and more likely.

“The bottom line is that a large-scale Japan presence is no longer viable without a local partner providing feed,” an exec at a rival airline said. “Delta is looking elsewhere.” Delta’s failure to get into a bidding war with ANA, especially after so recently committing significant funds to expand partnerships not just in China but in Brazil, Mexico and the United Kingdom as well, speaks to where Japan now ranks.

Check out the interesting read from The Street here.

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  1. There was a time when everyone thought Japan’s economy was going to overtake the U.S., and also Japan’s geographical position made it ideal for connecting to onward flights elsewhere in Asia. Japan’s economic decline in relative terms, and the availability of new long-range planes, have significantly decreased its importance as an aviation hub. The (re-)emergence of international service at HND probably hasn’t helped either, with long-haul service to Tokyo now split across two different hubs.

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