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Airlines bid to take Tokyo airport slot from Delta Air Lines

Staff writer |
American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines launched bids to get control of a key slot in Tokyo's Haneda Airport from Delta Air Lines.

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The two airlines have lobbied the U.S. Department of Transportation for months to rescind Delta's right to land at the airport in one of four daily times, or slots, allotted to U.S. carriers by an international agreement between the United States and Japan. Last month, the regulator agreed to review the situation, specifying Jan. 5 as the deadline for carriers to bid formally for the slot.

Monday's applications by American and Hawaiian reflect the larger battle taking place for service to Asia. If either wins the slot, competition would increase over U.S. travelers to the region, where Delta and United Airlines are currently the leading U.S. carriers.

American and Hawaiian allege that the incumbent, which won the right to fly from Seattle to Haneda in 2013, has underused the slot, planning limited winter service barely enough to prevent the slot from reverting to the regulator.

They say they would serve Haneda more frequently than Delta and give U.S. travelers more options, with American vying to fly from Los Angeles and Hawaiian petitioning to fly from Kona International Airport in Hawaii.

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