The cask-breaking ceremony kicked off the inaugural nonstop Delta Air Lines service to Tokyo Haneda, a location that has highly regulated flight slots in which Seattle beat out three other US cities.
- Delta Air Lines commenced operation on its second route to Tokyo Haneda (HND) on 1 June, and now offers daily flights to the Japanese airport from Seattle, WA (SEA) in addition to the also daily service it operates to Haneda from Los Angeles. Speaking during the launch in Seattle, Delta’s CEO, Richard Anderson, commented: “We would like to thank the DOT for approval of our new service between Seattle and Haneda Airport, which will link the Pacific Northwest with a key airport for business customers travelling to Japan.” Because of the cap on the number of flights between the US and Japan, Delta had to ask to shift its previous rights from its suspended Detroit to Haneda service. Instead, the DOT put the rights out to bid, which was consequently won by Delta over Hawaiian Airlines (from Kona), American Airlines (Los Angeles) and United Airlines (San Francisco). 767-300s are used to operate the service. Delta serves Tokyo mainly via Tokyo Narita, to which it operates at least daily flights from eight points across mainland US, including both Seattle and Los Angeles.