Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL:US) Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson, targeting business fliers in Japan, urged officials there to create more takeoff and landing slots at Tokyo’s close-in Haneda Airport.
Expansion efforts at Haneda, where Delta wants 25 slot pairs, are being hampered by government favoritism toward domestic carriers such as Japan Airlines Co. and ANA Holdings Inc. (9202), Anderson said today in Tokyo. A few dozen more daytime slots for long-haul flights are being added at Haneda next year.
“The government is engaging in protectionism,” Anderson said at a news conference. “The loser in that is the Japanese consumer.”
More flights at Haneda would help Atlanta-based Delta compete with Japanese airlines serving Tokyo, because the airport is only about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from downtown. U.S.-Japan treaties since 1978 have restricted most U.S. carriers to Narita Airport, about 40 miles away by car or train.
U.S. carriers including Delta, AMR Corp.’s American Airlines (AAMRQ:US) and Hawaiian Holdings Inc. (HA:US) won the right in 2010 to start a handful of flights to Haneda under an “Open Skies” agreement between the U.S. and Japan.
Haneda is the world’s fourth-busiest airport, with 66.8 million passengers last year, according to data compiled by trade group Airports Council International. Delta flies to Haneda from U.S. cities including Seattle.
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