Delta Air Lines Inc. will scrap required baggage checks for its passengers from Tokyo's Haneda airport when they take connecting domestic flights in the United States, according to a senior executive.

Jeff Moomaw, Delta's vice president for the Asia Pacific region, said in a recent interview that the airline is working out the details of the planned measure in consultation with Japan's transport ministry alongside U.S. authorities, with an eye to introducing the new rule this year at the earliest.

The airline hopes to do the same for South Korea's Incheon airport, he added.

Jeff Moomaw, Delta Air Lines Inc.'s vice president for the Asia Pacific region, speaks in an interview in Tokyo on March 15, 2024.(Kyodo)

Under existing rules, passengers flying into the United States must check in their baggage again when connecting to local flights, on top of the luggage inspection already made when boarding from Haneda, Japan's busiest airport.

Baggage checks will still be needed for Delta passengers on some connecting international flights, according to the company.

"Anyone who has traveled and connected in the United States knows that it's a difficult experience," Moomaw said. "We will soon be able to remove that part of the experience."

Delta currently connects Haneda with six U.S. cities -- Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Honolulu. It previously operated flights from Narita airport near Tokyo but all of its Japan routes were consolidated to Haneda in 2020.

The airline also plans to apply the new rule to flights from London and Frankfurt, he said.

The move comes as the air travel industry continues to reel from the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are starting to see more demand for international (flights)" after the pandemic, Moomaw said. "Tokyo market has the most capacity for Delta of any other market in Asia. We are very committed to Tokyo and Japan long-term."

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