Whether or not you choose to connect at; SFO, ICN, HKG (fill in the blank) is up to the individual. What works for me might not work for you. My point being is that you can go to Delta.com, input JFK as your point of departure, enter in just about any major (or secondary or tertiary) business/leisure destination in the world (including Asia) as your arrival airport and you will get their with no more than 1 stop. It might be on Delta metal or it might be via a JV partner. And when you run an airline like that, your running it very profitably, very smartly and very efficiently.
It's great for DL that you only search on their website for long range travel, but I use corporate travel or google flight or skyscanner to do my searches. DL just doesn't offer an attractive option anywhere in Asia. And going to Asia from NYC, it makes very little sense to fly out of SFO.
As I noted above, JFK is unique in that just about every major airline in the world has a footprint at JFK. No one airline can be that dominant at JFK. Hence the need at JFK for a well run partnership that enables (DL in this case) you to reach out to all points of the world with no more than 1 connection. DL can easily throw an A350 and fly (and fill) JFK - TYO but at what cost? They can fly JFK-HKG but again, at what cost? This has been said ad nauseum but how many airlines fly NYC-TYO and NYC - HKG? Doesnt make DL weak, it makes then a much smarter run airline and most importantly, the most profitable airline in the world; and you dont get to that status by flying from the states to Europe and to Florida. Just look at what happened to AA at JFK. What airline do you think is the most dominant at JFK when it comes to serving long haul international destinations? (TATL, TPAC, SA)
Of course, DL is no obligated to fly these routes. At the same time, they won't get the customers who fly to Asia a lot. As a whole, DL has become the most dominant airline in JFK/LGA. I think all the publicly available data + empirical data would support this. But for TPAC, *A + UA out of NYC is imo far and away the best options and OW is after them due to the frequency of schedule to TYO and HKG. As I said before, number of flight to HKG on CX + CX schedule to other ASEAN countries make OW a good #2 option to Asia out of NYC. Sometimes, all you need is one strong partner. And to South America, I would say AA is the best option out of JFK. It flies to EZE, GEO, GRU, GIG directly + offers very flexible connections from MIA. And if you are willing to fly out of EWR, UA has the pretty good options with direct flights to BOG, EZE, LIM and GRU. NYC is a fragmented market. DL even as the strongest airline here is not going to be dominant to every region. It's the clear leader to Europe and Africa.
And yes, DL flies plenty of money losing routes, what airline doesnt? It's one of the reasons why they make the kind of money they do. Even your beloved blue flies money losing routes.
Getting way off topic, now that I am retired and no longer commuting to the city, and living just north of the city, my frequent trips to Florida will now be on Blue, either out of Newburgh or Westchester airport. What a cluster f*** LGA is. I landed at LGA yesterday and it took my car service driver 45 minutes just to get from the GCP to terminal C. I could connect on Delta out of HPN but if my final destination is Florida, begrudgingly I will fly blue.
of course, every airline has money losing routes. JetBlue would have even greater proportion of its routes losing money than DL. I'm not disputing that DL is the better run airline. Evidence clearly says it's a really well run airline. I'm simply pointing out that it has made the decision that JFK to East Asia is not a battle it's willing to get into right now. And that's fine. It's just not going to get ff like myself who flies to Asia a lot.
And on the begrudgingly flying part, I live next to EWR now, so I will be begrudgingly flying UA from now on. And I had sworn a while back to never fly UA again. I'm glad to hear you will give blue a chance. As much as I like them, I don't see myself flying much with them until they start flying to Europe.
And cite your sources that show these are money-losing routes, please.
I've been posting BOS yield numbers on JetBlue thread. Plenty to chose from there.