Delta is giving up on Guam, ceding the Tokyo Narita to Guam route to United and JAL. It is also cutting service between Narita and Shanghai. The Narita hub keeps getting smaller.
In January I wrote about Delta ending service between Tokyo and Taipei. That service ended in May and now Guam and Shanghai will end in January.
Delta will still serve Shanghai, now an important focus city with partner China Eastern, from the USA, but no longer from Tokyo. China Eastern already flies the route three times per day, so the extra Delta flight was deemed unnecessary.
Guam is a more interesting case. Delta currently flies twice daily between Guam and Tokyo. Untied has three daily flights while Japan Airlines (JAL) has one. By suspending service to Guam from Tokyo Narita, Delta will no longer have any service to Guam. Did United undercut Delta in pricing? Looking at fares, JAL is cheaper by a few bucks on most days, but economy fares seem sustainable at a tad over $500USD r/t.
Where Delta Will Still Fly from Tokyo Narita
Delta will continue to call Tokyo Narita a hub and I think that’s more than fair, even as the hub continues to shrink.
After Shanghai and Guam are cut, Delta will continue to serve the following cities from Narita:
- Koror (Palau)
Five of the nine destinations (the bolded cities) are not to other hubs.
I still wonder how long Manila and Singapore can last…
Routes cuts happen all the time, though they usually make fewer headlines than route additions. Delta continues to whittle away its Tokyo Narita hub and I only see this trend continuing. The market has changed, demand has changed, yields have changed, and maintaining a Tokyo hub just doesn’t make much sense.
image: 小野 優太 / Wikimedia Commons