I agree. Again, Tokyo is still the largest population center on earth, and Japan is still one of the world's largest economies and wealthiest societies. Even without beyond-NRT connections - and frankly there aren't many these days, anyway - Delta should be able to make nonstops to TYO work from ATL, DTW, SEA, LAX and probably MSP. A year ago I also included JFK on that list, but I guess not.
I agree. It will obviously depend on what each airline actually proposes, but if/when additional HND slots become available, AA and United stand a good chance of picking up an additional pair first (to bring each up to 2x daily), then followed by Delta or Hawaiian (to bring each up to 3x daily).
I'm skeptical. Perhaps KIX can support a third daily nonstop to the Mainland U.S., but history doesn't make me too optimistic.
Yes - that's probably how things will play out. I'm biased, of course, but I personally agree that DFW stands a very good chance of getting a HND slot pair the next time around - for a variety of reasons. Beyond that, it's interesting to consider where United might go for. EWR seems like a logical gateway to propose since NYC is a huge O&D market to TYO and, despite, the ANA/JAL flights from JFK, EWR itself presently lacks access to HND.
ATL-NRT is the only Southeast-Tokyo flight, unless you include double dailies on IAD/IAH/DFW-NRT. While the local market is not terribly strong, ATL is still the largest connecting hub on earth. Since I don't see ANA/JAL adding a flight to anywhere in the Southeast, let along from HND, ATL-NRT is definitely staying around. Hell, for a while it was Delta's only flight to Asia until they merged with NWA. DTW-TYO, the local market is there, so other than a downgauge to an A330-200, DTW-NRT isn't going anywhere despite HND connections from ORD/JFK. I suspect Delta's first choice for a third HND flight is SEA, despite Delta's previous failure with the route, although that was entirely due to the bad timings. As it would be a daytime flight and SEA-NRT would be dropped, Delta wouldn't have any trouble with operating SEA-HND again. LAX-HND is actually adding two seats when the 777 goes to a 242 tonne A330-300 this fall. I don't believe Delta has had any issue filling the plane. As already indicated earlier in the thread, the loads on MSP-HND are much improved since the launch last fall. In the long run, unless DOT gives Delta the blessing to transfer the slot elsewhere, Delta will continue to operate MSP-HND on a daily basis. I thought the 777 operating MSP-HND would be replaced by a 242 tonne A330-300 as LAX-HND is switching to this gauge but it appears Delta is keeping the 777, at least for now. Given the strict guidelines set by the DOT, its possible Delta won't alter the gauge at all until the fall of 2018, when AA's backup authority for DFW-HND expires. Maybe then will Delta change gauge, potentially downgauging to an A330-200 but adding MSP-ICN. Irregardless, MSP-HND will not be going anywhere in the medium term. While MSP-HND was probably the only chance Delta had of receiving a second HND slot. While there is a market, the early loads, especially in the rear of the 777, really indicate how Delta struggles without any sort of feed on HND, let alone an inter-line agreement.
I am not sure how many or when HND slots to the US will become available. With the DL/KE JV, no need for Delta to delay any allocation. If just three more are handed out, I suspect UA gets EWR-HND, AA receives DFW-HND, and my is guess Delta receives SEA-HND. And no, I don't expect HAL to receive another HND flight. Now if four HND slots are allocated to the US3, well things will get really interesting. While Delta exiting the NYC-TYO is a pretty shocking move to many of this forum, with JAL adding JFK-HND in addition to ANA's JFK-HND. Delta looks smart in getting out of NYC-TYO as they did not have access to HND. Maybe Delta applies for JFK-HND in the next round of HND slot allocations. UA is guaranteed in receiving EWR-HND if at least two slots are awarded. The only concern for Delta here is not if they awarded JFK-HND but rather if ANA is allocated more than one additional slot. I assume the order for routes most likely to gain HND flights are IAD-NRT, SFO-NRT, and SEA-NRT in that order. It would be damaging to Delta if ANA started SEA-HND while Delta is stuck with SEA-NRT and yields would probably take a big hit. So it will have to be seen how many slots will be allocated and if ANA/JAL receive an equal number of slots this time.
At one point Delta was going to upgauge SEA-KIX to an A330 but Yen devaluation killed the flight. The flight was going on very little connecting feed and was relying almost entirely on local traffic. The advantage Delta would have in operating SEA-KIX over UA's SFO-KIX and JAL's LAX-KIX is that it will only require the use of one aircraft in rotation. Using a more fuel efficient aircraft such as the A330-900 NEO, Delta might be able to make it work again. By the time Delta has enough A330-900 NEOs flying intercontinentally, hopefully the Japanese economy will be performing better.