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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Update on JAL SKY SUITE 777 and JAL SKY Wi-Fi rollout schedule

JAL SKY SUITE 777 will be rolled out to the Tokyo Narita - Paris CDG route on July 8 2013
JAL SKY SUITE 777 will be rolled out to the Tokyo Narita - Paris CDG route on July 8 2013. Image by Japan Airlines.

Japan Airlines (JAL) has just updated the rollout schedule of its latest generation of long-haul products dubbed JAL SKY SUITE 777 (SS7) and its inflight wi-fi service, JAL SKY Wi-Fi, to its European network.

JAL SKY SUITE 777 (SS7)

JAL SKY SUITE 777 (SS7)


JAL originally scheduled to rollout SS7 on the Tokyo Narita (NRT) - Paris (CDG) on July 16 2013. But it is once again ahead of the original schedule and therefore the new rollout date is now July 8 2013. Similar to the London Heathrow launch and New York JFK rollout, the SS7 cabins will initially be available on alternate days only. 

Although JAL has not announced when the SS7 will turn into a daily service on the NRT-CDG route, one can easily tell what the current plan is by looking at the booking engine. As of right now, JAL plans to introduce daily SS7 service on this route on September 30 2013. But if everything goes well again, I would expect JAL to move forward this date once again. 

JAL SKY Wi-Fi

JAL SKY Wi-Fi

Up until now, JAL has only rolled out daily JAL SKY Wi-Fi service on flights between Tokyo Narita and New York JFK, Chicago, Los Angeles, Jakarta, and Frankfurt. The SS7 launch route, Tokyo Narita - London Heathrow, has only been getting JAL SKY Wi-Fi service on alternate days only. But the London route wi-fi service will finally turns daily on July 8 2013 when JAL rolls out one more SS7 into service. JAL currently still plans to roll out JAL SKY Wi-Fi service on Tokyo Narita - Paris CDG route in mid-August.

Interestingly when JAL retrofit the 777-300ERs, it has not installed the wi-fi equipments on at least JA734J. You can see the missing bump in the fuselage and I actually flew on that plane back in May and did not recall seeing any JAL SKY Wi-Fi logos either. So this explains why JAL wasn't able to provide daily JAL SKY Wi-Fi service on the London route until now. 

The longer than expected gap between the initial SS7 rollout and daily SS7 service on the NRT-CDG route could probably explained by this too. My guess is that JAL will be installing wi-fi equipments on the already retrofitted plane(s) and this would take roughly a month for each plane.

So if everything goes as planned, JAL may retire the W73 configuration with Solo seats as early as September! So time is running out if you for some reasons want to try out this old First Class seats :P

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