Yesterday, the Department of Transportation announced preliminary approval for Delta Airlines, in partnership with Alaska Airlines, to provide service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) to Tokyo’s downtown Haneda Airport.  This new flight will greatly benefit Seattle and the Pacific Northwest region by linking it with key markets in Japan and Asia

“I am thrilled that the Department of Transportation chose Delta Airlines, in partnership with Alaska Airlines, to operate a daily flight from Sea-Tac Airport to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport,”  Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) said.  “Home to many international businesses with a growing presence in Japan, this decision will bring the Pacific Northwest its first direct access to Tokyo’s Haneda airport.  Expanding service to Haneda promotes economic growth and job creation among Washington state businesses, and also eases travel for Washingtonians by providing direct flights.”

With an estimated 114,000 annual Seattle-Tokyo passengers that will benefit from this flight, as well as 40 cities that will now receive connecting service to Haneda through Delta and Alaska Airlines in Sea-Tac, this service will likely add to the $24 billion worth of trade between Japan and Seattle in 2011. 

The Haneda flight will operate using a Boeing 767-300ER and is scheduled to begin service in March 2013.