American Contests Delta’s MSP-Tokyo Route

The airline thinks its Dallas-Fort Worth route is better than Delta's from MSP.

The U.S. Department of Transportation may have awarded Delta Air Lines a slot from MSP Airport to Tokyo’s Haneda, but the fight isn’t over yet.
The Star Tribune reports that Dallas-based American Airlines is contesting Delta winning the coveted slot. American had hoped to win the slot for its route from Dallas-Fort Worth.
American cited strong ties between Japan and the DFW area, demand for travel to Asia and a stronger connection to other airports than MSP, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Still, it’s unlikely that the Transportation Department will actually reverse its decision. The move is meant to put more stringent requirements on Delta’s MSP route, including specifying the level of service, airplane size and cancellation rates with American next in line if Delta fails to comply.
Fights over the five daytime slots that opened at Tokyo’s Haneda airport have been fierce since the United States and Japan modified their open skies agreement earlier this year. Currently, daytime arrivals to Tokyo from the US are only available at Narita airport, which is significantly further from downtown than Haneda.
The Department of Transportation awarded two of the five slots of Delta (MSP and Los Angeles), one to United Airlines (San Francisco), one to American (Los Angeles) and one to Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu).