May 16, 2019 / 10:31 PM / 3 months ago

Delta, United poised for most new slots at Tokyo's Haneda airport

FILE PHOTO: Delta Air Lines planes are shown parked at their gates at the airport in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., January 12, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) - Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are poised to win the most new daytime slots at Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation statement on Thursday.

Of 12 new slots agreed with Japan, the DOT has tentatively allocated five for Delta, four for United, two for American Airlines Group Inc and one for Hawaiian Airlines.

The extra slots for U.S. airlines, which are still pending final government approvals, were unlocked after Japan reached an agreement with the U.S. Air Force to open up new flight paths around a nearby U.S. air base, a move needed to boost Haneda movements in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Haneda is located closer to downtown Tokyo than the capital’s other international airport Narita, and flies to more destinations throughout Japan, making it attractive for both business travelers and tourists.

Under the proposal announced on Thursday, Delta would receive new slots for flights between Haneda and Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Portland and Honolulu.

United would be able to fly from Newark, Chicago, Washington-Dulles and Los Angeles, while American would fly from Dallas and Los Angeles, and Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu.

Objections to the proposed allocations are due by May 30, with answers to the objections due by June 10, the DOT said, noting that it will consider all of the material before reaching a final decision.

Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by James Dalgleish

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