ATLANTA, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today thanked the U.S. Department of Transportation for its preliminary approval of new service between Seattle and Haneda Airport in Tokyo.
"I want to thank the DOT for its preliminary approval of this service, which will provide significant benefits for consumers in the Pacific Northwest, boost the region's economy and create jobs by further strengthening ties to Asia," said Delta CEO Richard Anderson. "Business travelers in particular will benefit due to Haneda Airport's convenient access to central Tokyo."
Seattle is the largest West Coast city without nonstop service to Haneda, which is the preferred Tokyo airport for many business travelers due to its proximity to the city's central business district. The flight would complement Delta's nonstop flight between Seattle and Tokyo-Narita, which will be expanded and upgraded next year to Boeing 747-400 service.
The Haneda flight adds to Delta's growing Asian gateway in Seattle. In addition to Tokyo, Delta recently announced new service to Shanghai, and also operates flights to Beijing and Osaka, Japan.
"Today's preliminary approval would not have been possible without the overwhelming support we received from our partners at the Port of Seattle and Alaska Airlines, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Congressmen Adam Smith and Rick Larsen, and numerous business, community and airport leaders throughout the Northwest region," said Andrea Newman, Delta senior vice president – Government Affairs.
The Haneda flight, which is scheduled to begin in March 2013, will operate using Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, Delta's popular Economy Comfort seating and in-flight entertainment in every seat throughout the aircraft.
In addition to its Asian gateway, Delta operates nonstop service to Paris and Amsterdam from Seattle. By next summer the airline will operate more than 40 daily flights to 15 destinations worldwide from Seattle.
Delta's international growth in Seattle is possible because of its partnership with Alaska Airlines, which operates a domestic hub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Customers of both carriers enjoy access to an expanded network under a major codesharing agreement, as well as reciprocal frequent flier benefits and airport lounge access. The new Tokyo-Haneda flight will benefit from easy connections to 55 U.S. cities on Delta and Alaska's domestic networks.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. During the past year, Delta was named domestic "Airline of the Year" by the readers of Travel Weekly magazine, was named the "Top Tech-Friendly U.S. Airline" by PCWorld magazine for its innovation in technology, won the Business Travel News Annual Airline Survey and was the recipient of 12 Executive Travel Magazine Leading Edge Awards for U.S. airlines. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 313 destinations in 58 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, a world-class airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $3 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.
SOURCE Delta Air Lines