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Hawaiian Airlines loses bid for Haneda-Kona route

By Dave Segal

LAST UPDATED: 11:48 a.m. HST, Nov 15, 2012

Hawaiian Airlines has lost its bid to offer nonstop daily service between between Tokyo's Haneda International Airport and Kona on Hawaii island.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said today it instead will allow Delta Air Lines to transfer its previously approved Haneda slot from Detroit to Seattle.

Hawaii island has been without scheduled flights from Japan since Japan Airlines ended service on Oct. 29, 2010, from Narita International Airport.

 Under a U.S.-Japan agreement, U.S. airlines may operate a total of four daily round-trip flights per day at Haneda Airport, where operations are limited.  In 2010, DOT awarded Delta two of those flight opportunities, one for service from Detroit and the other from Los Angeles. The other routes approved at that time from Haneda were Hawaiian Airlines’ Honolulu service and American Airlines’ service to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

 On July 30, Delta asked for DOT’s approval to serve Haneda from Seattle rather than Detroit. Delta subsequently canceled its Haneda-Detroit route on Sept. 30 because it was underperforming.

 In response to Delta’s request to transfer the route, three other airlines, including Hawaiian, filed proposals to use the flight opportunity for a new daily flight of their own.  American proposed service from Los Angeles and United Airlines from San Francisco. 

The DOT said today that it  tentatively concluded that it would be in the public interest to allow Delta to use the opportunity for service from Seattle.

“Delta’s proposal would provide the first nonstop service between Haneda and Seattle and provide a number of Western U.S. cities with their first one-stop connecting service to Haneda,” DOT said.

  Airlines have until Nov. 26 to object to DOT’s order to award the route to Delta.  If objections are filed, answers to objections will be due Dec. 3.

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