Again, why does DL need SEA anymore with US-China traffic in the toilet?
You're assuming DL's going to give up on U.S.-China traffic forever because of a temporary downturn? Obviously, demand could stay down longer term if U.S-China relations get worse, or as companies who had all their eggs in the China basket diversify to manufacture in more countries, but to assume that SEA-PKX and SEA-PVG are suddenly no longer worth flying long term seems a bit of a jump...
But sticking with your logic, can you answer why AA needs to start SEA-PVG with U.S.-China traffic in the toilet?
DL barely flies any Asia routes out of SEA to begin with and they are losing a ton of money there.
SEA is above average as far as US3 hubs' Asia operations go. It's no SFO, but no one in their right mind should expect it to be. As for how much money DL is losing there, I'd love to see the numbers you're looking at.
They already fly to HND/PVG out of LAX, why not just open ICN and use LAX as their TPAC hub for what they need?
DL's immunized JV partner KE already flies a ton of capacity on LAX-ICN. No need for DL to add their own metal unless KE can't supply enough capacity for the demand.
Considering how much they emphasize using ICN as an international transfer hub, SEA is incredibly pointless in DL's network.
Again, you're assuming U.S.-China traffic never comes back (even though there are already signs that airlines would like to fly much more capacity than they're currently allowed to in the market). SEA is DL's main gateway to China (which is excluded from the DL-KE JV) for the Western U.S. Until DL announces that they're never serving China again, SEA has a purpose in their network.
And that's before we even start talking about any local traffic DL gets in the SEA market. It's been reported on here that they get plenty of business from Microsoft, Amazon, etc.
AA/AS will have the upper advantage in SEA as they have way more scale, and despite what people say here, DON'T rule out the possibility of AA absorbing AS down the road.
For sure, the addition of PVG + BLR by AA along with AS joining OneWorld will give those two additional strength in the market. AS has always been the strongest anyway, and no one credible thought DL was going to overtake AS. But that doesn't guarantee they'll push DL out either. All indications are that DL is committed to the market.
This is my signature until I think of a better one.