Northwest Asian Weekly
New routes from Seattle to multiple airports in Asia will begin to see travel in June, as Delta Airlines and All Nippon Airways start new routes and reopen old ones.
Delta Airlines will be starting two new Asia routes from Seattle in June, providing direct flights to Shanghai and Tokyo-Haneda. Flights to Tokyo-Haneda will be available starting June 1 and flights to Shanghai begin June 17.
The Haneda flights add to Delta’s Asian gateway in Seattle. In addition to Tokyo-Haneda and Shanghai, Delta also operates flights to Beijing, Tokyo-Narita, and Osaka, Japan from Seattle.
Seattle is currently 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. Flight slots into Haneda are highly regulated. Seattle was one of four cities in competition for the new service to Haneda, including Los Angeles (American Airlines), San Francisco (United Airlines), and Kona, Hawaii (Hawaiian Airlines).
“This new route opens continued growth opportunities for travel, tourism, and business,” said Port Commissioner John Creighton in a statement released by the Port of Seattle. “Delta’s expansions in their gateway routes from Seattle help make us even more competitive to grow as a region.”
In addition to expanding their Asia routes, Delta will also be upgrading the planes used for the routes. In June, Delta’s Seattle–Tokyo-Narita route will be upgraded to the carrier’s Boeing 747-400 airplanes, which have been retrofitted with new interiors.
“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 of government affairs.
While Delta is expanding service to Shanghai and Tokyo, ANA will reopen their service to Tokyo-Narita starting June 1.
ANA began serving Sea-Tac on July 25, 2012, upgrading the route to a Boeing 787 beginning on Oct. 1, 2012.
Following the FAA’s grounding of all 787 aircraft in mid-January 2013 due to a battery issue, ANA temporarily suspended its Seattle service at the end of March. ANA expects to restart service with the Boeing 787 in September.
“We are pleased to announce the resumption of daily services between Seattle and Tokyo beginning in June,” said Osamu Shinobe, president and CEO of ANA. “This is an important route for ANA that is expected to grow. Initially, the service will be operated by Boeing 777 aircraft, but we intend to re-introduce the 787 on this route by the end of September 2013.”
Based on data from 2012, Sea-Tac is the United State’s 15th largest airport, serving over 33.2 million passengers. (end)
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