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Monday, March 29, 2010

JAL enhances business class meals on SE Asia flights

Brand new Japan Airlines (JAL) business class menu on Southeast Asia flights: Japanese choice
JAL New JAL business class meal on SE Asia flights: "Samurai Zen”-inspired Japanese meal. Image from Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) will enhance the business class meals on its Southeast Asia flights from April 1 2010. If you are flying from Japan to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Bali or New Delhi, you will be the lucky ones who can first try out this new dinning experience.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New JMB Diamond and JGC Premier benefit

Japan Airlines (JAL) has announced a new benefit for its top tier frequent flyers. From April 1 2010, JMB Diamond and JGC Premier members can reserve JAL domestic award tickets two weeks before other members. That means they can reserve JAL domestic award tickets 2.5 months in advance instead of 2. Details of this new benefit can be found on JAL website.

JAL restructuring update

It's end of March and Japan Airlines (JAL) only have 3 more months to finalize their restructuring plan. Here are a few updates on JAL restructuring progress.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fly On Points Bonus update

Japan Airlines (JAL) finally got back to me yesterday regarding whether booking class 'X' qualifies for the 400 Fly On Point (FOP) bonus. It took JAL two weeks to confirm this as they were confused themselves about this change. And as expected, the new business booking class does qualify for this bonus. So below is the JAL Mileage Bank miles and FOP summary effective April 1 2010

JAL to suspend employee travel benefits? Ouch!

According to jiji.com (in Japanese), Japan Airlines (JAL) is looking into suspending such benefits in fiscal year 2010 and they might revise the system later on! So how many free/discounted tickets JAL employees get?

JAL expand codeshare agreement with British Airways

Map of Japan Airlines (JAL) and British Airways (BA) expanded codeshare network (The new JAL and BA code sharing network. Routes in red are the new additions. The only misleading information here is JAL doesn't fly over the Atlantic to London :P. Source: JAL Press Release)

British Airways (BA) delivers first part its promise to Japan Airlines (JAL) made during the Delta fist fight. JAL and BA announced today that they will expand their code sharing flights to include 13 new routes. And JAL finally add Athens back to its network after it suspended that route 20 years ago! And JAL and BA are currently studying further partnership (2nd part of BA's promise, to file ATI with JAL)

Goodbye! JAL Cargo freighter

Japan Airlines has announced changes to its cargo business. After October 2010, JAL will no longer operate freighter flights and will solely depend on its passenger flights for its cargo transportation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

JAL "lowers" business saver fare to US and Europe

Japan Airlines has issued a press release (in Japanese) regarding 28 day advance purchase business saver fare...Starting April 1 2010, the weekday fare will be lowered by 5,000 yen! So how much will you save if you wait till this price cut kicks in?

JAL expands code sharing agreement with Jetstar

Japan Airlines has reached an agreement with Jetstar (JQ) to expand their existing code sharing deal to include the Kansai - Cairns service operated by JQ from April 1 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

JL1662 delayed due to accident...a car accident

There is a delay on Japan Airlines flight 1662 from Izumo to Haneda on March 23 2010. So why is it delayed? Isn't JAL the most on-time airline :P Well, this time the delay is caused by a car accident that JAL has little control over. I know what you are thinking. No the car did not hit the plane :P

Monday, March 22, 2010

JAL to cut contract cabin attendant salary

Yet another cost cutting measure from Japan Airlines. In order to lower its fixed cost, JAL plans to reduce its contract workers', mainly cabin attendants', salaries by 3%.

Incident: Hydraulics leak on JL1600

According to Aviation Herald, there was an incident involving a Japan Airlines airbus 300-600 on March 21 2010. There was a hydraulics leak shortly after takeoff and the plane returned to the airport safely 30 minutes after takeoff.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

November 2009 Trip Report Part VI - Sakura Lounge at Narita

Japan Airlines (JAL) Sakura Lounge First Class Lounge at Narita (NRT) airport
JAL First Class Lounge and Sakura Lounge at Tokyo Narita

Sorry i haven't been posting the trip reports lately. It's March now and I am still writing about my November trip! Well, I have been busy and Japan Airlines filing for bankruptcy didn't help either. Anyways, here's my report on the Sakura Lounge. I actually took the picture above a while back (more than a year ago) but the entrance/wall didn't change :P The Sakura Lounge and First Class Lounge share the same entrance and are located next to gate 61 at the main building. The Satellite Sakura Lounge is next to gate 92. But for this report, I will focus on the lounge at the main building as I only had enough time to visit one of them and the one at the main building is definitely better :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

HA! ANA is feeling the pain too

All Nippon Airways has announced its fiscal year 2010-2011 corporate strategy and revised its earning forecast today. This can be summarized in one sentence: ANA's loss has widened due to increased competitions and they will restructure and downsize too! Looks like Japan Airlines' recent promotions are seeing some positive effects (from JAL's point of view of course, this is a JAL blog LOL)!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

JL657: Where is the runway?

There was an unacceptable incident involving a Japan Airlines 767-300 at Kaohsiung Airport on March 6 2010. The JAL pilots had to go around because the airport forgot to turn on the runway lights!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

JAL extends early retirement program to pilots

Nikkei reports that Japan Airlines has extended its early retirement program to its pilots. Around 2,300 pilots are now qualified for early retirement.

JAL restructuring updates

It has been almost two months since Japan Airlines filing for bankruptcy protection. The new JAL CEO Kazuo Inamori and COO Masaru Onishi held a joint press conference in Tokyo today to update the press of their restructuring plan. They answered the question in a lot of people's mind including when will JAL become profitable again, when will JAL start cutting the routes, etc. And Inamori made some pretty harsh comments on JAL staff too :(

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

JAL Global Club challenge

No this is not the kind of challenge on AA in which you only have a fast track to attain your status. Since Japan Airlines announced the changes in JAL Global Club (JGC), a number of people have asked me similar questions: What is the cheapest way to obtain JGC. So I have started a thread on FlyerTalk JAK Mileage Bank forum.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Koito executives step down and president take pay cut

The largest Japanese aircraft seats manufacturer Koito, who faked test data of its seats, said 3 executives will step down and its president will take a 30% pay cut for 6 months. They have submitted their plan to MLIT and intends to complete the first phase of safety check by end of May.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

More booking class and Fly On Points bonus updates

Talk about being sneaky! Japan Airlines has updated its previous announcement no booking class/JMB miles accumulation rate changes and the Fly On Point (FOP) bonus campaign page without publishing it on the front page (at least I didn't see it). I only found out about the changes when I looked at the new JAL ex-US fares from April 1 (yes, they are changing the fare rules).

JAL wants to sell off 49 old planes ahead of schedule (Updated)

JA8921 as JL736 at HKG on 2009-12-31.  Probably my last JAL 744 flight
JA8921 as JL736 at HKG on 2009-12-31.  Probably my last JAL 744 flight

(Update: It should be JAL is phasing out 20% of its fleet instead of 2% in the 3rd paragraph. This is what happens when you didn't sleep and blogged at 6am :P)

Japan Airlines has approached a foreign company and wants to sell off 49 of its aging aircraft ahead of schedule. If the deal goes through, JAL will get rid of these plan as early as this year!

Friday, March 12, 2010

JAL to shut down Osaka and Fukuoka cabin attendant bases

Reports surfaced yesterday that Japan Airlines will shut down its cabin attendant bases in Osaka and Fukuoka at the end of June as part of the restructuring. JAL has started informing the affected cabin attendants about this idea.

JAL advice ex-BKK passengers to arrive early for check-in

You might have heard there is an anti-government demonstration in Thailand right now. Japan Airlines is expecting normal flight operations but has advised passengers departing from BKK to arrive extra early to check-in. This is to avoid traffic congestion and crowd at security check. The demonstration is expected to last till March 23. You can find the notice on JAL website

A couple of people has emailed/PM'ed me asking me questions regarding BKK flights a few weeks ago. They should be in Thailand right now. Hopefully they are doing fine. Most district in Bangkok is calm right now but stay safe and good luck! Hopefully this will get resolved peacefully soon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

China Eastern will continue to double dip both JAL and ANA

China Eastern Airlines (MU) currently is a partner of both Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways. There are speculations recently that MU will end its partnership with one of them but their president has denied such speculation.

Which companies the Japanese graduates want to work for?

There's a survey about the most popular corporation among college graduates done every year. And the results for 2011 Spring graduates are released. Last year Japan Airlines was the 5th most popular company among the Arts graduates. So how low has JAL drop in the ranking this year? Any guess???

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

More details on JAL Compliance Investigations Committee

Japan Airlines has previous announced that they will form a compliance investigations committee to probe into their previous business practice. Today JAL has announced more details including contact information of the committee in case you want to report any misconduct

JAL is the most on-time airline in 2009!

Frobes released its 2009 top 10 most on-time airlines a few weeks ago. Japan Airlines beats all of other carriers and scores the highest on-time percentage in 2009! Congratulations!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Temporary service suspension of Tokyo Monorail on April 10

Both Japan Airlines and Tokyo Monorail has put up a notice regarding temporary service suspension on April 10 2010. So if you are flying out of/into Haneda on that day, you should be aware of this.

JAL extends early retirement scheme to other employees

A week ago Japan Airlines approached 400 senior managers for possible early retirement. Now JAL has extended this to other employees including maintenance, cabin attendants and ground staff.

Monday, March 8, 2010

ALL JAL Global Club members will be awarded at least Oneworld Sapphire status

JAL Global Club non-elite member status from April 1 2010
JAL Global Club non-elite member status from April 1 2010. Picture by Japan Airlines.

Japan Airlines has announced the modifications to the Oneworld elite status of the JAL Global Club (JGC) members from April 1. ALL JGC members will get at least OW Sapphire status. Yes! Even those who did not take any flight in the previous year!

How did JAL decorate the Doraemon Jet?

Step 4 of painting JAL Doraemon Jet
Step 4: Peel off the stickers. Picture by Japan Airlines

You should know Japan Airlines has a Doraemon Jet by now. So how did JAL decorate the aircraft? No JAL did not paint the Doaremon characters on the aircraft. Instead, they use stickers! JAL has updated the Doraemon special site show you the process. Also, JAL added a page for the Doraemon Jet schedule!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Let the trash talking begin


The US carriers submitted their bids for the 4 precious Haneda slots few weeks ago. So what are their next move? Trash talk at each other LOL. They now start attacking each other and hope to swing the public opinions :P

Friday, March 5, 2010

Free advertising for JAL

Shimizu S-Pulse is the J. League Division 1 soccer club Japan Airlines has been sponsoring since 1992. JAL continued to support the team when they were in some kind of financial trouble. Now the table has turned and JAL is bankrupt. As a way to thank JAL for their long time support, the soccer club has decided to continue to put JAL's logo on the left sleeve of their 2010 jersey and they are doing this for free!

JAL considers moving headquarter to Haneda

As part of the cost reduction, Japan Airlines is considering to move its headquarter from Shinagawa to Haneda. This idea has been floating around since January and FNN news once again report this today

Thursday, March 4, 2010

JAL code share service details with FDA

Japan Airlines has posted more service details of the code share flights operated by Fuji Dream Airlines. Most of the service will be the same as other code share flights except for lounge access and inflight magazine.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

JAL Hina Matsuri flight took off (Update 1)

(Update: Added video report of the flight in Japanese)

As reported earlier, Japan Airlines is organizing a special flight to celebrate Hina Matsuri, aka Girls' Day or Doll Festival. Jiji.com has a picture taken at the departure gate. Is it just me, they looked much happier last year.

2010 JAL Scholarship Program

It's this time of the year again. 2010 JAL Scholarship Program is accepting applications. This year's theme is "Tourism and cross-cultural understanding". Selected recipients will be awarded an all included 17-day trip to Tokyo and participated in this cultural exchange program.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

April 2010 movie list on JAL flights

April movie list on Japan Airlines international flights is up! The only repeat this month is "Up In the Air" (aka AA commercial LOL). Features include "Avator" (probably in 2D only sorry), "Sherlock Holmes", "Nine", "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" (late Heath Ledger's last movie), etc. Below are the list of movies available on MAGIC-I and II.

JAL plans to cut 5% workforce through early retirement

According to Nikkei, Japan Airlines plans to cut 2,700 positions, roughly equals to 5% of its workforce, through early retirement scheme. First target group? Flight crew and ground staff managers.

Monday, March 1, 2010

JAL ends merger talk with NYK

Back in January, there were reports saying the merger talk between Japan Airlines and NYK's cargo operations (NCA) had hit some major obstacles. Today, JAL issued a press release saying they have ended the negotiations.