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Saturday, March 13, 2010

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!

According to Nikkei, JAL wants to finalize the deal within a month. The 49 aircraft include 33 744's with 303-546 seats and 16 MD-90's with 150 seats. The sale could incur a loss of 1400-1900 billion yen but this is considered necessary as part of the restructuring because both models are gas-guzzlers!

So JAL is phasing out roughly 20% of its fleet by year end. With that many aircraft gone, will they have enough replacements or will they suspend enough routes?

I will probably miss the upper deck of the 744 and there's currently no other aircraft that can provide an upper deck experience like the 744. A380's upper deck is just too large and makes no difference than flying on the main deck. Looks like my previous JL736 flight will probably be the last time I fly on a JAL (or any) 744 unless I was "lucky" enough that JAL swap the 763 with a 744 on my next HKG flight or I buy a ticket for 744's farewell flight! JAL has ordered more than 100 747's from Boeing and seeing it completely gone from its fleet marks the end of an era.

From now on, we will just see less 744 in the air. But 747 will always have a special place in my heart.

Related Posts:
Rumor: JAL to sell off planes and subsidiaries
JAL to shut down Osaka and Fukuoka cabin attendant bases
JAL plans to cut 5% workforce through early retirement

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