• JIJI, Kyodo


Delta Air Lines said Friday that it will fully transfer its U.S.-Tokyo flights from Narita International Airport to Tokyo International Airport at Haneda, bringing its operations closer to central Tokyo.

The U.S. airline will transfer all of its flights linking Narita and five U.S. cities, including Atlanta and Seattle, to Haneda in March next year.

The shift will make Delta the largest U.S. airline serving Haneda, with flights to and from seven U.S. cities.

Delta will also cancel its service between Narita and Singapore next month and between Narita and Manila in March as it completely withdraws from the Chiba Prefecture airport.

For operations within Asia, Delta will utilize the networks of its partner, Korean Air, whose primary hub is Incheon International Airport near Seoul.

The withdrawal from Narita is nothing but a shift to Haneda and there is no change in the importance of the Japanese market for Delta, a company official said. The move will contribute to improving its services, the official said.

The central government on Thursday announced a date for the introduction of new flight paths over Tokyo to increase capacity at Haneda airport in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics.

On March 29, planes will be able for the first time to descend and climb over densely populated Shibuya, Shinjuku and Shinagawa wards in central Tokyo.

By strengthening the airport’s capacity for international flights, the government aims to raise the annual number of foreign visitors to 40 million by 2020.

The new routes will increase the number of available international arrival and departure slots at Haneda from the current 60,000 to about 99,000.

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