Narita ponders future after Delta’s farewell
The move by Delta may lead to other airlines reviewing whether to stay at Narita or shift to Haneda, which is closer to central Tokyo, industry sources said.
“It’s shocking. North America routes have been Narita’s advantage,” a local municipal official said of Delta’s decision. Delta used Narita as an Asia hub since the airport opened in 1978, including the period when it was Northwest Airlines before a merger.
The airport’s operator, Narita International Airport Corp., has been taking steps to make it more attractive to airlines, including reducing landing fees. In 2015, it opened a terminal dedicated to low-cost carriers.
Narita is bracing for around 1,073,500 international flight passengers during this year’s peak summer vacation period, which started Friday and ends Sunday.
Akihiko Tamura, president and chief executive officer of Narita International Airport, downplayed the significance of Delta’s withdrawal. “Some leave and others come,” he said.