Delta to lauch Honolulu-Fukuoka

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by msny, Sep 2, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. msny

    msny Gold Member

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    Delta will launch seasonal service to Fukuoka, Japan on December 28. LINK

    DL 599 HNL 1030-1705+1 FUK Daily 763
    DL 598 FUK 2030-0910 HNL Daily 763
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    A bit surprising as I wouldn't expect this to be a high yield route although it's likely to be high volume. I guess this reflects how popular Hawaii is as a leisure destination in Japan.
     
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  3. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Wow. That's about all there is to say. I wonder if these will be loaded into the system and then pulled later.

    Is this DL's first service to Fukuoka?

    -RM
     
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  4. QSG
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    QSG Gold Member

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    Considering that in the 90's there were 3 flights a day to HNL form FUK, (Northwest DC10, JAL Resocha 743/ DC 10, Hawaiian DC 10). It is all vacationers and when JAL quit a few years back there were just charters.
     
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  5. QSG
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    QSG Gold Member

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    No, old Delta had flights to their then hub of PDX on MD 11, sadly the things didn't go so well for foreign tourists vis a vis the INS at PDX and the flights got a bad name for the hassles.
     
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  6. joejones
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    joejones Silver Member

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    Fukuoka is really big--1.5 million people in the city alone, about twice as many if you include the broader metropolitan catchment area. With the new bullet trains operating in Kyushu, almost the entire island is a single train ride away from Hakata, which is minutes from the airport. I think DL can make this route work with a 767. Packaged-tour operators will eat up the inventory.
     
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  7. MSPeconomist
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    As I said above, DL can fill the planes on this route, but making it profitable is an entirely different matter.
     
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  8. NYBanker
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    Isn't all Hawaii travel pretty much leisure travel? What makes FUK any less lucrative than NRT-HNL or SEA-HNL?

    At roughly 3mm people in the metro area, FUK ranks about the same size as the MSP or SAN metro areas. It looks like the airport already serves most major international East Asian destinations.
     
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  9. NYBanker
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    What does "Resocha" mean?
     
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  10. NYBanker
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    I've seen half a dozen JAL planes on the ground at HNL at one time. Hawaii is a very popular destination from Japan.
     
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  11. QSG
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  12. QSG
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    QSG Gold Member

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    The thing is that this captive market of (actually 14 million on Kyushu) are within 90 minutes of FUK and the metro area and the area south to Kurume, west to Saga, and North East to Kitakyushu-City has about 5 million in population. It is a no-brainer for DL. The local tour companies will have the planes full during the winter on 4-6 day trips ! Also just across the way is Busan with another 5 million or so.....
     
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  13. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I agree - this seems like it will work pretty well for DL. Looking at the east Asian cities serviced from FUK and with the size of the metro area, it seems the market could probably support a 767 into mainland US as well. Much more so than hnd.
     
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  14. NYBanker
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  15. QSG
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    Well it failed miserably to PDX.....which I got to take a grand total of 1 time ! If the plane could dump off everyone at LAX (not for me, for the Japanese pax, perhaps some Koreans too?) they might be able to make it work. Probably not enough front cabin action though....and don't kid yourself that HND doesn't work.....it works very well for NH and JL as they have enormous feed there.
     
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  16. NYBanker
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    The challenge with PDX is it requires an onward connection for most pax. Lax, JFK or SFO would do better than PDX for FUK service.

    Re hnd, it should work much better for the Japanese-based carriers than the US-based carriers due substantially to the feeder network into hnd domestically and knowledge of the logistics by locals (not unlike the subtleties of LGA vs JFK, which is lost on even many (most?) Americans!).
     
  17. JALPak
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    JALways not JAL :rolleyes: :p What else you want me to add? I have never flown on any of them :p
     
  18. joejones
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    joejones Silver Member

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    IIRC, JALWays was a separate airline set up with non-Japanese flight crews (Thai FAs and American pilots, I want to say) who were paid less than JAL's equivalent union employees. That was JAL's strategy for making money on its lower-yielding tourist routes to Hawaii and Southeast Asia.
     
  19. joejones
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    I thought about Korea and China as well, but isn't international-to-international transfer at FUK a pain? I have never tried it but recall hearing some horror stories. Anyway, regional feed ought to be more than enough. I wouldn't be surprised if people from as far east as Hiroshima end up preferring this flight to get to Hawaii -- HIJ is in the middle of nowhere, and the next international airport to the east, KIX, is also in the middle of nowhere.
     
  20. joejones
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    joejones Silver Member

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    That part is easy. Travel agencies will buy the seats in bulk at a good margin over DL's cost. Hawaii is viewed as a premium destination here, and people with short vacation periods will want to maximize their use of time. Also keep in mind that the yen is ridiculously high right now, currently trading around 77 to the dollar whereas the rate was more like 120 a few years ago, so Delta has a big advantage over JAL and ANA in that it can sell seats in yen but pay labor costs in much cheaper dollars.
     
  21. QSG
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    I have never done the transfer but there is a staircase/elevator to go up to the second floor. For years this was muted to be not allowed due to objections from Osaka desk of the transport ministry which wanted to keep as much connecting traffic at KIX as possible. Who knows, perhaps DL will station a few CRJ at FUK to soak up Korean tourists from PUS and JEJ, ICN ;)!
     
  22. This makes a lot of sense.

    Consider that HNL-KIX has 2x daily (DL 747 or A330, HA 767) and is always packed and sold out, and very hard to book even for many months ahead – fully sold out! There is still more demand than supply on HNL-KIX with the two dailies, it could easily support a third daily from what the media have reported here.

    Then HNL-HND HA wanted 2 slots, only got one, and appealed the DoT for one more. DL also wanted one slot and didn’t get it.

    The next logical two flights would be:
    * HNL-CTS (opening up Hokkaido to HNL, otherise HNL-CTS on SkyTeam requires an overnight at ICN now; and, makes sense to link up a colder climate to HNL, and HNL to a winter ski resort destination – there would be solid traffic there both ways, both with HNL as destination from CTS as well as with CTS as destination from HNL)
    * HNL-PUS (consider now 3x daily HNL-ICN – 2 x KE on 747 and 1 x HA on 767, and PUS is a very large and prosperous city with nearly 5M population, and since KE isn’t doing HNL-PUS, before HA does it, DL should jump on it)
    I think that there would be no problem to keep these two flights full as well, esp. if it was 3x weekly one and 4x weekly another (both sharing the same aircraft, so 2x lower cost and risk for DL). Probably at first seasonal, just as HNL-NGO was until it evolved into year round, and later possibly evolving into year round (though these would be mostly point-to-point only without many connections at PUS or CTS, other than domestic within Korea and Japan, respectively, but with good connections at HNL to US mainland though).

    If DL doesn’t jump on HNL-CTS and HNL-PUS (esp. considering that it’s not just traffic to HNL, but also from HNL connections to US mainland; while the other direction though mostly just to there), then I am sure that HA will. Though I also wouldn’t be surprsied if HA adds its own HNL-FUK still, just as it did on the way underserved HNL-KIX.

    China (a much smaller market still than Korea or Japan) is covered by the new HNL-PVG on MU, that I think for now was 3x weekly but I am sure will fairly soon go to daily.
     
  23. joejones
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    joejones Silver Member

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    DL has already announced a frequent flyer redemption partnership with Skymark, which is going to start NRT-CTS service in October. I am waiting for the two to announce some kind of interlining or further cooperation any day now -- it seems like an obvious next step.
     
  24. Hopefully. So far isn't it that only DL FF who live in Japan can either earn or redeem SM for Skymark flights, and even then only Skymark by itself, but not in conjunction with any DL flights?

    For that to work, Skymark would need to become a full fledged SkyMiles partner (all earn SM on Skymark flights, and can redeem SM for Skymark flights as well; e.g. then HNL-NRT-CTS could redeem as one award, vs. now just HNL-NRT and then would need to buy NRT-CTS separately).
     
  25. alohastephen

    alohastephen Gold Member

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    I am one of the lucky ones in Kurume who will benefit from Delta's new route from FUK-HNL. I think that the people over in Busan will more likely be taking Korean air out of Seoul though.
     

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