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Sunday, February 28, 2010

JAL celebrates Hina Matsuri with special flight

Hina Matsuri, also known as Girls' Day or Doll Festival, is a traditional Japanese festival held on March 3 to wish a healthy and prosperous growth for young girls. Japan Airlines will once again organize a special flight to celebrate this festival.

Friday, February 26, 2010

JAL supports Food Nippon Action with rice cookies

Japan Airlines will launch a new product to support Food Nippon Action, which is a movement to improve Japan's food self sufficient rate. This time JAL will cooperate with Mon Chou Chou to market a cookie made from domestically produced rice flour. Mon Chou Chou is a Osaka based pastry store. This is not the first time JAL works with Mon Chou Chou. In fact, JAL is serving some of Mon Chou Chou's products on flights between Kansai and Honolulu and Bali.

JAL will investigate its previous business practice

Japan Airlines announced today that they will establish a Compliance Investigation Committee on March 2 2010 to investigate if there are any violations in its past business practices.

JAL lost 177.9 billion yen between April and Dec 2009

As promised, Japan Airlines has released its consolidated result for April-December 2009 today. JAL reported a loss of 177.9 billion yen in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2009. Below are the highlights of the result. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

JAL will announce April-Dec 2009 financial results today

Due to its structuring, Japan Airlines has pushed back the announcement of its financial results from beginning of February to 26th. So we will see how much JAL has bleeded/recovered today. Stay tune for the update tonight. Hopefully JAL will announce its corporate strategy at the same time

Source: jiji.com

JAL CEO becomes the Special Advisor to Cabinet in Japan

According to Nikkei, Japan Airlines CEO Kazuo Inamori has become the part-time special advisor to the Cabinet on Thursday. Yes, another part-time job for 78 year old who are focusing to turnaround JAL!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

JAL reached code share agreements with Emirates and Fuji Dream Arilines

Japan Airlines has reached code sharing agreements with Emirates (EK) and Fuji Dream Airlines (FDA). EK's agreement include the new Narita-Dubai service launched in March (as I tweeted a few days ago). While FDA's agreement covers the Shizuoka routes which JAL will withdraw from.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You only need to fly 1,280 miles on JAL to be a oneworld Emerald!

I was doing some silly calculations because someone posted on FlyerTalk's oneworld forum about how easy it is to get to the highest level of elite in the King Club. Oh what's King Club? Of course it's the loyalty program of Kingfisher :P And I am actually surprised to find out how little you have to fly on Japan Airlines to attain the highest level of oneworld elite status: Emerald.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Haneda slots update

Travel Vision has an update report on the Haneda slots for international flights. According to the report, China could be allocated as much as 20 flights per day! But the most interesting part is there's a comment regarding US DOT's preference of who they want to allocate their 4 slots to. Below are the destination allocation so far

JAL's KIX exclusive campaigns are seeing great results!

Japan Airlines has launched a couple of Kansai International Airport (KIX) exclusive campaign to boost the flight loads for flights at KIX. And JAL is seeing GREAT results from these campaigns!

Kingfisher Airlines intends to join Oneworld

Kingfisher Airlines (IT), which is India's leading domestic carrier and only 5-star Indian airline, has informed India's Ministry of Civil Aviation their intention to join Oneworld alliance.

Air France-KLM denies joint venture talk with JAL

Even though Japan Airlines has officially picked AA over Delta two weeks ago, the drama doesn't seem to end there. A French newspaper La Tribune once again tried to stir up the drama and started up a rumor that Air France-KLM is in talk with JAL for a joint business venture for flights between Japan and France.

Fuel surcharge hike coming on April 1 2010

Thanks to the raising fuel price, Japan Airlines will once again raise its fuel surcharge for passengers starting April 1 2010.

The average Singapore kerosene-type jet fuel between November 2009 and January 2010 was USD 84.66 per barrel, compared to USD 78.04 per barrel in the previous period. As a result, JAL will be using Zone C on its fuel surcharge table. So for a transpacific roundtrip ticket to Japan, instead of paying for USD 138 for fuel surcharge, you will have to pay for USD 222 from April 1!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

English site for JAL Mileage Project 2010 is up!

JAL Mileage Project 2010

The JAL Mileage Project details in English is available on Japan Airlines website now. But sadly the US website department still doesn't look like they know how to run a campaign or is still as slow as they are before. Where's your sense of urgency and crisis?

Inamori: JAL needs a sense of crsis

Japan Airlines CEO Kazuo Inamori told reports in Kyodo that JAL will accelerate its efforts to improve profitability because they are bleeding cash every day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rumor: DPJ to launch investigation into JAL's collapse

This is just a political show! The Japan ruling party wants to launch an investigation on Japan Airlines' failure. So they can point their fingers at the ones at fault. The news is coming from DPJ member Tsutomu Okubo's aide who asked not to be named.

Inamori took a field trip to safety promotion center

Japan Airlines' new CEO Kazuo Inamori once again went for a little field trip. This time he visited JAL's safety promotion center near Haneda, which is a requirement for most JAL staff.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

JAL stocks stay at 1 yen on final trading day

After 49 years of trading, Japan Airlines finally ends its last trading day at 1 yen. JAL's stock will be officially delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange on February 20 2010 (Saturday). On its final trading day, 27,624,000 shares changed hands, all at 1 yen per share. JAL has issued a notice (in Japanese) regarding the handling of its share after delisting from TSE. It is a sad day, but I believe JAL will be listed on TSE again one day. But I am not sure if 9205 will be assigned to JAL again when the day come. :(

Rumor: JAL proposed 5% pay cut and no bonuses this year

Nikkei reported that as part of its restructuring, Japan Airlines has asked its employee to accept a 5% pay cut and to give up bonuses in fiscal year 2010.

JAL was granted US Court protection

Shortly after its bankruptcy filing in the Tokyo District Court, Japan Airlines has filed a Chapter 15 protection in Manhattan court. Yesterday, JAL's protection request was granted.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James Peck granted JAL the protection today with no objection against the bid. With the Chapter 15 protection, JAL is protected against US lawsuits from creditors while it is undergoing restructuring under Tokyo's court protection. All JAL's U.S. creditors are now bound by the terms of the restructuring proceeding in Japan.

Source: Business Week

Related Post:
JAL filed Chapter 15 proceeding in New York

FAA proposed 2 fines to American Eagle within a month

American Eagle (AE) is the commuter unit of American Airlines, who is Japan Airlines' partner in the US. This is the second fine within weeks the FAA has proposed against AE due to maintenance mishaps. I know I have said this before, but have you really picked the right partner, JAL?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Round 2 of AA's fight: Haneda slots

The fight for Japanese traffic in the US is far from over. Round 1 has just ended with American Airlines taking home the grand prize of Japan Airlines' commitment. Round 2 of this fight has already begun and is way more vigorous than the first round. This time around, the airlines are fighting for 4 pairs of slots at Haneda. AA's opponents are Delta, United, Continental and Hawaiian Airlines.

Monday, February 15, 2010

JAL Mileage Project 2010: Double miles for ALL JMB members!

JAL Double Mileage Campaign.
JAL Double Mileage Campaign. Picture by Japan Airlines.

WOW Japan Airlines really delivers its promise of miles will be easier to earn! JAL keeps adding new campaigns to their Project 2010 page. If you feel being left out as a regular JAL Mileage Bank member yesterday, don't worry, JAL has not forgotten about you. To make up for this, JAL will give you double miles!

JAL Mileage Project 2010 - Added benefits and campaigns for JALCard holders

There are 5 exclusive campaigns Japan Airlines is running for JALCard holders. There are two discounted award ticket campaigns, two mileage bonus campaigns and one Fly On Point bonus campaign. These are some of the ways JAL trying to thanks their loyal customers and to lure other passengers back from other carriers. OK, so there are loves for the elites and JALCard holders. But where is the love for holders of other cards e.g. Premio, Hang Seng, etc? I want the bonus FOPs campaign! Maybe JAL include current JMB elites too? :(

Sunday, February 14, 2010

JAL Mileage Project 2010 - Added benefits and campaigns for elites

Looks like Japan Airlines wasn't lying about miles will be easier to earn soon when they issued the notice to customers last month. JAL has posted about Project 2010 on its Japan region website. There are whole bunch of campaigns exclusive to JAL elites and JALCard holders! Below are the details of campaigns exclusive for JAL elites. I will write a separate post for JALCard holders campaign to keep this post short.

JAL Doraemon Jet unveiled! (Updated)


(Picture Source: Mainichi Daily News)

(Update: Added video news coverage and you can see how JAL staff decorated the Doraemon Jet)
Japan Airlines finally unveiled its Doraemon Jet today at Haneda hanger. JAL will start flying the Doraemon Jet from Monday until the end of April.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

JAL and AA filed for ATI application with DOT

Japan Airlines and American Airlines has filed for antitrust immunity (ATI) application with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) on February 13 2010. JAL and AA will also apply for ATI with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Japan.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Feng Zhenghu is finally home on a JAL plane

If you haven't heard about Feng Zhenghu before, here is his wiki page. He is the Chinese activist who spent 92 days at Narita Terminal 1 after being denied entry to China in November for the 8th time in a row. I am not trying to get into politics on this blog so this entry is only about how JAL and ANA handle this incident.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

JAL 101 Part 1: Upgrade points expiration and usage

[Update: JAL has announced the discontinuation of upgrade points. All upgrade points will be expired on March 31 2013 and no more upgrade points will be awarded to the JMB elites]

I am trying to document some of the Japan Airlines and JAL Mileage Bank knowledge I gained over the years so more people can benefit from it (and save you some time posting the questions on FlyerTalk :P). In some ways, this is kind of similar to a "sticky thread". Just like the trip reports, you can click on the title bar menu below the banner to search for all JAL 101 posts.

What's a better way to start this than to talk about the upgrade points JAL has just credited to your JMB account. If you have attained JAL Mileage Bank most frequent flyers status for 2010, the upgrade points should have been deposited to your account.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ANA is pissed

ANA has been whining for a while about the unfair competitions the Japanese government has created as a result of the Japan Airlines bailout. But this time, ANA is so pissed that they threaten to withdraw from the airport due to the financial support JAL received from the local government!

JAL vs ANA = Ikemen vs 47 Pretty Ladies

ANA promote 47 prefectures with 47 pretty ladies
ANA promote 47 prefectures with 47 pretty ladies

While Japan Airlines is still considering running the "Ikemen Flights" (flights which entire cabin crew are "handsome" male) to capture the ladies' hears, ANA has already launched a campaign which goes the opposite direction! ANA's campaign features 47 pretty ladies from 47 prefectures in Japan! So now it's handsome men vs pretty ladies? LOL

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Incident: JL 510 emergency stop at Haneda

Has this become a weekly thing? There was yet another incident involving Japan Airlines today in Japan. This time it is JAL flight 510 from Sapporo to Haneda that has to make an emergency stop at Haneda after landing.

It's official, JAL picks AA

Finally! Japan Airlines has officially announce picking American as their US partner. JAL and AA will apply for ATI as early as this weekend.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Are you sure you want to pick AA, JAL?

Different media, including The Wall Street Journal, are now reporting that Japan Airlines has picked American Airlines over Delta. Mainly because of the costs and risks involved in switching alliance. And the new CEO Dr. Inamori had a friendly chat with his buddy at Washington regarding ATI approval on JAL and DL tie up. After that he has made up his mind. Supposing there will be a JAL press conference later today announcing their decision. While you guys are still cheering or mourning for the rumored alliance decision, here is something from The Wall Street Journal to read about: Agencies to Fault American on Maintenance. After reading this, I can't help but question whether JAL has picked the right US partner.

Toyota safety problem kind of extended to airlines seats (Updated)

(Update: added one more paragraph regarding european ban on Koito seats)

For those of you who have been keeping track of news on the "Dark Side", you should know ANA has postponed the introduction of their new 777-300ER cabins (good news for JAL). The reason behind this is safety issues of the premium economy seats manufactured by Koito Industries, whose parent company is 20% owned by Toyota. And as expected JAL is also a client of this Japanese seats manufacturer and is affected by this safety recall.

Closure of JAL ticketing counters

Japan Airlines has announced that two ticketing offces will close on March 31 2010. The two JAL ticketing counters are the Tokyo mono-rail city air terminal and the one at Naka-kuyakusho Asahi-Seimei Kyodo Building in Nagoya. For details of other ticketing offices in Japan, you can refer to JAL website.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rumor: JAL has decided to stick with AA

Either Japanese media have nothing to write on other than stirring up the Japan Airlines bidding war or JAL keeps flip-flopping, every other week we see reports saying JAL has picked Delta or American Airlines. This time the rumor said JAL has picked AA as their US partner. So is this true? Only the writer/reporter and JAL executives know.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

JAL wants to capture your heart, ladies

Japanese companies have some special ways to capture their customers' hearts. There are maid cafes with waitress dressed in French maid costume and male maid cafes with male cross dressed as French maids. The latest trend is to hire "ikemen", which means damn good-looking men, to win over the female customers' hearts...no I meant business. And what this has to do with Japan Airlines? Apparently JAL is considering to operate some "Ikemen Flights" staffed with male cabin attendants LOL

Friday, February 5, 2010

Volume 23 of JAL Today's Topic - JAL Group Volunteer Activities

Japan Airlines has uploaded volume 23 of their Today's topic, the video you see onboard on JAL flights. This time the topic is about JAL Group volunteer activities and how JAL employees formed close ties with various regions of Japan.

JAL x PIA Japan Expert

Japan Airlines and PIA Corporation are collaborating with travel guide publisher, Mais Co. Ltd, to publish a bi-annual travel magazine for foreigners. The magazine is called "JAL x PIA Japan Expert". It features tourist attractions in Tokyo and includes coupons for tourist to use during their stay in Japan. It will be published in both Korean and Chinese. So this is basically a more trendy JAL Guide Tokyo in Chinese/Korean + coupons available in all cabins. The magazine will be available on JAL flights to Tokyo from Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. The first edition, which will be available from February 12 to June 30 2010, will feature Ginza, Nihonbashi, and Yaesu. JAL will also set up a website (site not yet ready) for the digital version of the magazine. It will be launch in early March.

(Picture from JAL Press Release)
Source: JAL Press Release

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rumor: Inamori hesitates to end tie with AA

According to Nikkei.com, Delta might not be the sure winner in Japan Airlines' bidding war. Nikkei says JAL's new CEO Dr. Inamori "appears loathe to dump ally American". That's all I can read for free LOL. WSJ, Bloomberg, etc probably will pick up this new rumor later. I will just read more by then :)

Actions speak louder than words

A twitter in Japan enquired both Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways about donating miles for Haiti relief on January 24 2010. JAL and ANA gave him two completely different answers. Below are the responses translated to English to the best of my (I meant google's) knowledge.

Route and frequency changes for first half of FY2010

Japan Airliens has just announced its route and frequency changes for the first half of fiscal year 2010. Some of the suspensions have been announced by JAL earlier, some of the suspension/frequency decreases are continuation of previous ones. But there are also frequency increases on some routes probably due to JAL's withdrawal from nearby airports (e.g. Kobe vs Kansai and Itami).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nishimatsu san is back!

Japan Airlines' ex-CEO Haruka Nishimatsu is back! He found a new "job" today. He was appointed as the Chairman of JAL Foundation. This is the foundation JAL funded back in 1990. And Nishimatsu san will work for FREE! He will focus on business and cultural exchanges in Japan and overseas (and of course promote JAL too!). It's nice to see you again Nishimatsu san :)

Sources:
Yomuiur Online (in Japanese)
jiji.com via Yahoo! (in Japanese)

Incident: JL1183 emergency landing at Haneda

There was another Japan Airlines incident in Japan on February 3 2010. This time it was JAL flight 1183 from Haneda to Memanbetsu Airport. The Boeing 737-800 registered as JA325J returned to Haneda shortly after takeoff due to engine problem. No one was injured.

Monday, February 1, 2010

2nd Day of work: site visit?

In an attempt to boost employees' morale, Dr. Inamori has decided to visit a couple of Japan Airlines' sites. So first stop, Haneda maintenance center. According to Nikkei.com, Inamori and Onishi visited the Haneda facility on their second day of work as JAL's new CEO and COO respectively.

Thanks for your cooperation, ANA :)

In case you have missed the inaugural press conference, Dr. Inamori, Japan Airlines' new CEO, said one of the reasons he took the job is he wants to grow the Japanese economy by rebuilding JAL. And to do this, JAL and ANA needs to have a friendly rivalry and ANA's cooperation is important.

JAL extends discounted upgrade campaign till March 2011 (yes 2011!)

Japan Airlines have been running two discounted upgrade campaigns in parallel for a while. I had a hard time figuring out what the differences are because one of the campaigns is for JAL Mileage Bank members in Japan only and therefore of course was only available in Japanese (Hopefully JAL will update their English site for this campaign too). After exchanging a couple of messages with a JAL traitor (you know who you are LOL), I finally figured out what the other discounted upgrade campaign is about. And guess what, JAL is extending that campaign till March 2011 (this is not a typo!)

March 2010 movie list on JAL flights

WOW all of the movies on MAGIC-I and II are new ones in March. No repeat from the previous month. In fact the selections on Japan Airlines international flights are pretty good in March. Below are movies available on JAL's MAGIC-I and II.

A nice new change - campagin details in English!

When I visited the English version of Japan region website of Japan Airlines, I noticed a nice new change. JAL has put up four new pages for some domestic campaign/new service in English! In the past, JAL usually only have Japanese version of these news. Maybe JAL has listened to what I complained about when I filled up the online survey last year :P The four campaigns/sales are: Birthday Fare, Tokubin 3 Sale Fare, JAL QuiC Touch & Go Boarding, QuiC & McDonald's Promotion. They are probably not news to Japanese members, e.g. the McDonald's campagin has been running since November last year. But until now, all of the information was only available in Japanese :) Below are the details: