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Friday, March 29, 2013

Goodbye, MD-90!

JAL MD-90 (JA8070) at Tokyo Haneda
JAL MD-90 (JA8070) at Tokyo Haneda. Image by Kentaro IEMOTO@Tokyo

As announced before, Japan Airlines (JAL) will be retiring its MD-90 fleet today (March 30 2013 JST) after first introducing the plane to its fleet 17 years ago. The last scheduled flight will be JL1614 from Hiroshima (HIJ) to Tokyo Haneda (HND). It is scheduled to depart from HIJ at 19:40 and arrive HND at 20:55.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

[Updated] JAL unveils JAL Happiness Express special livery

JAL Happiness Express - a special livery to celebrate Tokyo Disney Resort 30th anniversary
JAL Happiness Express - a special livery to celebrate Tokyo Disney Resort 30th anniversary. Image from Japan Airlines

[Update: Added links to the Aviation Wire report which you can see the plane up close and the JAL original seat rest cover and paper cup]

Yesterday I reported that Japan Airlines (JAL) has painted one of its domestic Boeing 777-200 with special Disney livery to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Tokyo Disney Resort. Today JAL finally releases more details on this special livery dubbed "JAL Happiness Express" and held an event at Tokyo Haneda to officially unveil the plane.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

JAL Tokyo Disney Resort 30th Anniversary special livery

JAL Happiness Express - a special livery to celebrate Tokyo Disney Resort 30th anniversary
JAL Happiness Express - a special livery to celebrate Tokyo Disney Resort 30th anniversary. Image form Japan Airlines

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Tokyo Disney Resort and it will kick off a series of celebrations in April. As the official airline of the Tokyo Disney Resort, Japan Airlines (JAL) is also part of the celebration :) JAL has painted a domestic Boeing 777-200 (registration JA8985) with a special livery featuring cartoon characters from Disney on the fuselage. Not much details other than pictures from Japanese aviation website FlyTeam can be found at this point. But I expect this to fly on domestic flights between Tokyo Handa (HND) and Osaka Itami (ITM), Sapporo New Chitose (CTS), Fukuoka (FUK) and Okinawa Naha (OKA).

This is not the first time JAL features Disney characters on its livery. Previously, JAL has painted a couple of its 747s with special Disney liveries. And those were real paint jobs not just 3M stickers! Hopefully JAL will release more details on this special livery soon and maybe we will see an international version of this too? ;)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

[Updated] Updates on JAL domestic lounges refurbishment status

Newly opened Sakura Lounge at Sapporo New Chitose
Newly opened Sakura Lounge at Sapporo New Chitose. Image from Japan Airlines

A while back, Japan Airlines (JAL) has announced that it will start refurbishing some of its lounges in the current fiscal year end in March 2013. Finally JAL has provided with some updates on the refurbishment status of its domestic lounges, which includes expansion of the Sakura Lounge at Sapporo New Chitose (CTS), re-opening of the Sakura Lounges at Osaka Kansai (KIX), Hiroshima (HIJ), Komatsu (KMQ), Matsuyama (MYJ), Kumamoto (KMJ), and Kagoshima (KOJ), and renovations of the Sakura Lounges at Osaka Itami (ITM) and CTS

Monday, March 25, 2013

JAL moves up the New York route SKY SUITE 777 rollout day


[Update: JAL has moved up the rollout date once again. Latest date can be found in this post]

Japan Airlines (JAL) has announced today that it will move up the SKY SUITE 777 (SS7) rollout on the Tokyo Narita (NRT) - New York (JFK) route to May 7 2013, 2 days ahead of its originally planned. Initially JAL will only offer SS7 on alternate days, i.e. only odd-numbered days in May. As of right now, JAL still plans to make this a daily service from May 29 2013 (or May 30 if you count the first even-numbered day as the day that SS7 turns into daily service)

The SS7 offers improved cabin in all 4 classes with wider seat width and pitch in most classes. One of the most significant changes is the introduction of JAL SKY SUITE which JAL chose to install a modified version of an international First Class seats in its Business Class cabin. You can refer to this post for details of the improved service and here is also a virtual tour of the SS7.

JAL now offers beef curry at the Narita international lounges from 10am

JAL special beef curry at Sakura Lounge
JAL special beef curry at Sakura Lounge

When reading trip reports on Japan Airlines (JAL) lounge service at Tokyo Narita (NRT), almost everyone would praise how tasty the special beef curry JAL offered on its lunch and dinner menus is. Due to its extreme popularity, JAL decided to offer the beef curry from 10am in the morning from February 27 2013, an hour earlier than before.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rumor: JAL might place an order of 20 Airbus 350-1000's

JAL might place an order of 20 Airbus 350-1000's by June 2013
JAL might place an order of 20 Airbus 350-1000's by June 2013. Image from Airbus

Japanese newspaper Nikkei reports without citing its source that Japan Airlines (JAL) is studying the Airbus 350-1000 at the moment and might place an order of 20 planes for delivery from 2017 to replace its Boeing 777 fleet currently used on long-haul flights to the US and Europe.

Friday, March 22, 2013

JAL develops special inflight meals for flights departing from Beijing

JAL develops special inflight meals for flights departing from Beijing
JAL develops special inflight meals for flights departing from Beijing. Image from Japan Airlines Facebook Page

One of the items on Japan Airlines (JAL) mid-term management plan is to improve the inflight meals served on flights departing from an outport. Recently JAL Beijing office has launched an initiative to do just that with the aim to provide fresh and delicious inflight meals to its customers.

JAL ties up with online retailer Amazon

JAL formed a loyalty program partnership with online retailer Amazon
JAL formed a loyalty program partnership with online retailer Amazon

Japan Airlines (JAL) announced today that it has reached an agreement with online retailer amazon to form a loyalty program partnership. JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) members will be able to redeem Amazon gift cards with their JMB miles. And the lucky members from the Japan region will also be able to earn miles while shopping on Amazon.co.jp.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

New JAL SKY SHARE service

SKY MAP, part of the new JAL SKY SHARE service
SKY MAP, part of the new JAL SKY SHARE service. Image from Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines (JAL) is going to roll out a brand new inflight service called JAL SKY SHARE this spring for a limited time. Via the innovative JAL SKY SHARE, you can send personalized postcards and video messages to friends and families using photos taken during your flight. A youtube video summary will also be sent to you upon arrival. But in order to enjoy this service, you will need to be one of the paying customers of the JAL SKY Wi-Fi service as you will need to upload and send pictures via Wi-Fi during the flight.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

JAL sets the SKY SUITE 777 rollout date for the New York route

[Update: JAL has moved up the rollout schedule, details can be found in this post]

A week ago, Japan Airlines (JAL) announced the Tokyo Narita (NRT) - New York (JFK) route will be getting the new long-haul cabin, dubbed SKY SUITE 777 (SS7), from early May 2013. But no specific days have been announced. Now JAL has finally updated its website to give more details.

Rumor: JAL could be a launch customer for the upcoming Boeing 777X

According to Wall Street Journal, Boeing is close to seeking board approval for the go ahead of the 777X jets, which is an updated version of the current 777 planes. Once approved, Boeing can start selling them to customers. But for now, Boeing has made conditional offers to at least 3 customers, including Japan Airlines (JAL), Emirates (EK), and International Airlines Group (IAG, the parent company of British Airways (BA) and Iberia (IB)) to be one of the launch customers of the 777X.

Friday, March 8, 2013

JAL renews sake offerings on international flights

JAL new sake lineup for international First Class
JAL new sake lineup for international First Class. Image from Japan Airlines


Japan Airlines (JAL) announced today that they will be renewing their sake offerings on its international First and Business Classes from March 11 2013. New range of premium sake from all over Japan has been carefully selected, including one from the Fukushima Prefecture. This includes some of the rare, difficult-to-obtain sakes and some JAL original sakes. The lineup will be changed every three months to match the seasons.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Jakarta route temporarily loses First Class service

It's this time of the year again which Japan Airlines (JAL) usually downgrade the equipments used on the Tokyo Narita (NRT) - Jakarta (CGK) route due to maintenance of the 777-300ERs used on the North America network. In the past, JAL was able to deploy and 777-300ER with the older generation products on this route. However, as we all know JAL has been retrofitting its entire 777-300ER fleet with the latest SKY SUITE 777 products, the CGK route will unfortunately be downgraded to a 777-200ER instead this year.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

JAL to roll out SKY SUITE 777 on New York Route and JAL SKY Wi-Fi on European routes

JAL to roll out SS7 to the New York JFK route in early May 2013
JAL to roll out SS7 to the New York JFK route in early May 2013. Image from Japan Airlines website

[Update: JAL has announced the rollout schedule on the JFK route, which you can find in this post]
[Update 2: JAL has moved up the rollout schedule, details can be found in this post]

Japan Airlines (JAL) has finally officially announced the roll out timeline of SKY SUITE 777 (SS7) for the Tokyo Narita (NRT) - New York (JFK) route. It was previously pre-maturally published on its website but the information has since then been removed. At the same time, JAL also announced the rollout schedule of JAL SKY Wi-Fi service to the European routes.