The U.S. Department of Transportation said it plans to award temporary flying rights for daytime routes at Tokyo's Haneda airport to Delta and three other U.S. carriers.
The DOT said it plans to tentatively allocate temporary flying rights to Delta for a route from Los Angeles to Haneda. Other flying rights at Haneda would go to American for a route from Los Angeles, United for a route from San Francisco and Hawaiian for a route from Honolulu.
The move comes after U.S. and Japanese negotiators reached a new U.S.-Japan Open Skies agreement last month. Delta objected to the terms of the deal, out of concerns that it could harm the competitive standing of Delta's hub at Tokyo's more remote Narita Airport and lead to Delta route cancellations.
On Tuesday, Delta called the DOT's move an "instituting order" and said it is "currently assessing the order to determine the best approach for route filings to support Delta customers" and network changes due to the U.S.-Japanese aviation agreement.
The award of the flying rights would be temporary through the 2016/2017 winter season, while the DOT conducts a more extensive process to decide which airlines will get the flying rights in the future.
In addition to the four daytime flying rights that were transferred from the current nighttime flying rights, the DOT also plans to conduct a process to allocate one new daytime slot and one new nighttime slot for flights at Haneda.
"In light of the considerably changed circumstances, DOT said that the public interest warrants a completely fresh look at the U.S.-Haneda market to determine which allocations would best serve the public interest," according to a statement from the agency.
Objections to DOT's proposed temporary awards are due by March 29, and applications for the longer-term flying rights are due April 12.