Delta Officially Dismantles Tokyo Narita Hub, Moves Operations to Haneda

Delta A350 at Narita Airport

Well, it is a sad day for Northwest flyers. Delta has announced it is closing down business at Tokyo Narita Airport as of September 22, 2019. Northwest, which was purchased by Delta and folded fully into it in January 2010, was a unique airline with a hub in Tokyo Narita. Northwest operated flights all over Asia through Narita, including Manila, Singapore and Guam. They even had a dedicated fleet of Boeing 757s stationed out there.

When Delta bought Northwest, they slowly began removing flights, leaving the only two tag flights to Manila and Singapore. Narita Airport is in an interesting position. It is located well over an hour from the city, with Haneda Airport, located much closer. Up until recently, Haneda Airport had a much smaller capacity, and was used on shorter flights. Now, it has the capability for longer flights and is the preference of travelings beginning or ending in Tokyo.

Delta currently operates to Tokyo Narita from the US from Atlanta, Detroit, Honolulu, Portland and Seattle, and to Singapore and Manila. Unfortunately, Delta does not have onward connections through Narita like United has with ANA and American has with Japan Airlines, so flights to there just aren't as popular.

As of September 22, 2019, Delta will cease operations from Narita, and apparently move fully over to Haneda. There is no start date for flights there, though. In addition, they will be cutting their Singapore route and moving the tag flight to Manila over to Seoul. For whatever reason, Delta needs their own flight as the Philippines has weird laws about code sharing, so Delta cannot funnel traffic onto Korean Airlines at Seoul.

Delta's operation at Haneda is currently tepid, with flights from Minneapolis and Los Angeles. They will be using their newly appointed to slots to grow to 7 destinations.

Once they do this, Delta will be the largest US carrier to Haneda Airport.

The Northwest Hub at Narita Airport was once a unique way for a US based airline to carry passengers all over Asia.

Northwest's Former Onward Connectivity at Narita Airport

Now that Delta has strong partnerships with Korean and China Eastern, it only makes sense for connecting traffic to be funneled through Seoul and Shanghai, and O/D passengers to use Haneda Airport.

Photo courtesy of Delta, maps courtesy of Great Circle Mapper.


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