Delta is withdrawing from Nagoya, leaving the Japanese city with no flights from North America

The “Detroit of Japan” will no longer be just a direct flight from Detroit in Michigan.

Delta Air Lines submitted plans over the weekend to cut its 6,552-mile “Motor Town Express” nonstop service between Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) and Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO) in Nagoya, Japan, as first seen in the Cirium schedule and later confirmed by a spokesperson for the airline.

Delta’s final flight from Detroit to Nagoya will take off on February 27 and return to the US on February 28.

Delta gave only about a month’s notice before removing this route map pin from its network. Travelers who have booked on this route will receive a full refund or reassignment on other Delta and SkyTeam flights from the region.


With the move, Delta will leave the Japanese city without any transpacific service, ending a long route the airline already serves. Inherited from Northwest Airlines back when the two carriers officially merged at the end of 2009.

That said, Nagoya will remain connected to the US with service to Honolulu on Japan Airlines. United Airlines also flies between its hubs in Guam and Nagoya.

Delta and its predecessors have a long history in Nagoya. Northwest began serving this Japanese city from Detroit in 1998, according to historical archive. Meanwhile, Delta flew to Nagoya for the first time in 1991, though that flight from Portland was later cancelled, according to Airline map.

In the following years, Northwest continued to build and restructure its presence in Nagoya.

Delta’s other changes in Japan: Sayonara, Narita: The Rise and Fall of Delta’s Tokyo Center

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With the merger of Northwest, Delta inherits Northwest’s flights from Nagoya to Detroit, Guam, Manila and Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. Delta increased its presence in this Japanese city with the addition of direct flights to Honolulu in December 2010.

In fact, Delta operated nine daily flights to and from Nagoya at its peak in March 2011.

But not long after that, Delta began to reduce its presence in Nagoya, ending service to Manila in 2014, followed by Saipan in 2015 and Guam in 2016, according to Cirium’s schedule.

That leaves service to Honolulu and Detroit when Delta’s two remaining flights arrive at Nagoya. The Hawaii service abruptly ended in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, and the Detroit service was subsequently suspended as well.

Only one route has re-emerged after the pandemic and that is a direct flight from Detroit, which will resume in April 2021 with a once-a-week on-board service. Airbus A350-900 flagship aircraft.

Things looked promising late last year when Delta increased frequency on its long-haul Detroit to Nagoya route to three times a week, but that optimism seems short-lived as the airline is now claiming completely ceased operations in the market.


Without official comment from Delta – the airline declined to provide – on the reasons for the cuts, it is likely that the carrier can no longer make the economy work.

Nagoya is known as a major center of the Japanese auto industry, with Toyota headquarters and production facilities worldwide located nearby. Meanwhile, Detroit, or “Motor City,” is home to some of America’s biggest car companies: Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors.

Delta’s non-stop flights can rely heavily on premium cabin demand from automotive executives and other industry players commuting between the two cities for meetings, conferences and events. special. Now the pandemic is over standards change for internet-based meetings and conferencesit’s possible Delta isn’t seeing as strong of a demand on the route as it was before the pandemic.

Either way, it’s an unfortunate end to Delta’s presence in Japan’s fourth most populous city.

Without Nagoya, the Atlanta-based airline would consolidate all of its Japanese operations to Haneda Airport (HND) in Tokyo, where it run a brand new Sky Club.

Delta’s network from Haneda includes service to Atlanta, Detroit, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Portland and Seattle.

More about Delta from TPG:


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