ATLANTA, Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has received final approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to operate new nonstop service between Seattle and Tokyo International Airport, also known as Haneda Airport. The new flights will begin on June 1, 2013.
"We would like to thank the DOT, under the capable leadership of Secretary Ray LaHood, for approval of our new service between Seattle and Haneda Airport, which will link the Pacific Northwest with a key airport for business customers traveling to Japan," said Delta CEO Richard Anderson. "Delta's new flights will significantly benefit consumers in the region as well as boost the economy and create jobs by opening new doors for commerce with Asia."
The Haneda flight adds to Delta's growing Asian gateway in Seattle. In addition to Tokyo-Haneda, Delta will begin new service to Shanghai on June 17, and also operates flights to Beijing, Tokyo- Narita and Osaka, Japan.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 new Haneda flight will complement Delta's nonstop flight between Seattle and Tokyo- Narita, which will be expanded and upgraded to Boeing 747-400 service on June 1. Delta's Boeing 747-400 fleet was recently retrofitted with new interiors featuring full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, Delta's popular Economy Comfort seating and in-flight entertainment in every seat throughout the aircraft. Once the Boeing 747-400 is deployed on the Seattle- Narita route, all of Delta's trans-Pacific flights will feature full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite as well as Economy Comfort and individual in-flight entertainment throughout the aircraft. "Delta's new service to Haneda would not have been possible without the overwhelming support we received from numerous business, community and airport leaders throughout the Northwest region, including our partners at the Port of Seattle and Alaska Airlines, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and Congressmen Adam Smith and Rick Larsen," said Andrea Newman, Delta senior vice president – Government Affairs. 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 won 33 airline industry awards sweeping the major corporate travel surveys including Business Travel News, Travel Weekly, TravelAge West, Recommend Magazine and The Beat. Delta was also a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Freedom Award for exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve employees. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 319 destinations in 59 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 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.