Updated:
Original:

US, Japan reach agreement that could doom Twin Cities flights to Tokyo

Author:

The Twin Cities' nonstop air link with Asia could be doomed after an agreement was reached between Japan and the U.S. to open up another airport to more international flights.

Delta had warned its direct flights between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Tokyo's Narita Airport would probably be scrapped as increasing services between the U.S. and Tokyo Haneda Airport would render the service unprofitable.

Minnesota legislators including Gov. Mark Dayton and Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar had lobbied the government to renegotiate the deal to save the service, but USA Today reports an agreement between the nations was reached on Thursday.

It will mean Haneda, seen as more desirable as it's closer to downtown Tokyo, will be opened up to more U.S. airline daytime services, removing existing restrictions that mean U.S. carriers depart or arrive during overnight hours.

The deal benefits Delta's rivals United and American, who unlike Delta have Japanese airline partners and are likely to attract travelers away from the Narita-MSP route in favor of other U.S. hubs.

About 90 percent of travelers from Tokyo to the Twin Cities connect to other domestic flights at MSP.

In a statement reported by the Bloomberg, Delta said it is "committed to doing our best to maintain the viability of our current Asian route structure and our Narita hub for as long as possible, recognizing that commercial impacts are imminent.

"Delta will make a careful assessment and adjust our network accordingly."

The Star Tribune reports Delta expects to lose many of its Tokyo passengers from New York and Los Angeles to other airlines, which it says will "ripple across to its other five U.S. ports with nonstops to Narita."

An open letter to Vice President Joe Biden from business representatives was published in the Star Tribune on Thursday as the he arrived for a visit to St. Paul, saying the many Fortune 500 companies located in Minnesota rely on the link to bring commerce to the state.

"We implore you, Mr. Vice President, to engage the president and the administration on this issue," it says.

Next Up

Union Gospel Mission graffiti side by side - Duluth PD

Vandals target longstanding Duluth soup kitchen, transitional housing site

Union Gospel Mission has been operating in the city since 1922.

i-94 crash st. michael - 2021.10.19

At least 1 dead after 'serious crash' on I-94 in St. Michael

That side of the highway is expected to be closed for at least a few hours.

House for sale

The crazy Twin Cities housing market is showing signs of slowing down

Agents are seeing fewer multiple offers and no inspections are less prevalent.

Ben Simmons

Simmons' reunion with 76ers lasts mere days, chance for Wolves?

Woj says the Sixers remain "steadfast" in their plans for Simmons.

mitchell ottinger

Sub teacher involved in 'sextortion' of more than 10 minors pleads guilty

Some of the minors he knew from the school district where he worked.

flickr ice castles new brighton 2020 - Greg Gjerdingen

The Ice Castles, a winter favorite, are coming back to the Twin Cities

The popular attraction was canceled last winter due to COVID.

joey meatballs

4 new vendors coming to Rosedale's POTLUCK food hall

Three restaurants and a VR company are opening soon.

flickr - Lorie Shaull - Line 3 pipeline Palisade July 2021

Enbridge misses deadline to fix its groundwater blunder

The company had 30 days to stop the leak it caused by not following its submitted plans.

wikimedia commons - the beach boys 2019 - joergens.mi

Beach Boys bringing 2021 holiday tour to Minnesota

The iconic band's "Holiday Harmonies" tour stops at Treasure Island just before the new year.

pixabay - us supreme court

MN, WI attorneys general push SCOTUS to block to Texas abortion law

They say the law is in "direct contravention of nearly a half century of binding precedent."

Related

Delta announces direct flights between Twin Cities and Seoul

It becomes Delta's second direct route to Asia from MSP.