Monday, August 31, 2009

Frequency changes on JAL domestic flighs

Japan Airlines has announced the latest route changes to its domestic network. There are frequency reductions on three routes and frequency increases on three routes.

Enhanced inflight meals on certain flights

Japan Airlines has announced enhancement of its economy class inflight meals on flights to Europe flights selected South East Asia cities. JAL will also introduce a new business class autumn menu on flights to Korea.

Friday, August 28, 2009

JAL restructuring plan

Japan Airlines has released details of its upcoming restructuring plan in October. As expected, there are a lot of subsidiaries and units merging aim to improve customer experience, efficiency, competitiveness, and most importantly to save $$$.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New carry-on rules for JAL flights

JAL, ANA, Air Do, Skynet Asia Airways and Skymark Airlines will adopt new and standardized carry-on baggage rules starting in December. This will reduce the passengers' confusion on how many carry-on baggages they can carry.

Fleet downsizing at Shizuoka Airport

Japan Airlines has announced plan to further downsize its domestic fleet. It has decided to switch the aircraft used on two Shizuoka Airport routes to the latest regional jet Embraer 170

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

10% discount oneworld fares for 10 weeks

As oneworld announced earlier, they are going to celebrate their 10th anniversary with 10% off ALL of their fares for 10 weeks. And it starts TODAY! So the Oneworld Yokoso (Visit Japan) fare will be 9000 yen per sector. Don't miss this chance to fly around Japan for cheap :)

Source: JAL website

Monday, August 24, 2009

JAL is a World Saver (i.e. Save JAL Save the World LOL)

Condé Nast Traveler (a travel magazine) has awarded Japan Airlines the World Savers Award in the airline category. This newly added category is to recognize the most socially responsible airlines.

Rumor: JAL will implement 10% reduction in work force in the next 3 years

It has been reported that Japan Airlines is considering a 10% work force reduction (~5000 employees) in the next three years as part of its restructuring plan. This will save JAL a total of 150 billion yen.

To achieve this, JAL plans on doing the following:
  • Attrition
  • Encourage early retirement
  • Encourage the use of leave of absence system
  • Sell off minor subsidiaries within JAL group 
  • Realign subsidiaries 

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Incident: JL761 emergency landing

Japan Airlines flight 761 from Narita to Brisbane had to return to Narita after 80 minutes after takeoff due to an air condition problem.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

JAL and NYK starts talking about cargo merger

The rumor earlier today is true, Japan Airlines and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) are in talk of a merger/integration. JAL has released an press release to confirm this.

Hokkaido rice in JAL domestic first class

Japan Airliens will start serving Hokkaido rice in its domestic first class in October 2009. This is another example that shows JAL's support to the Food Nippon Action, which aims to improve food self-sufficiency rate in Japan. For details of the Hokkaido rice in JAL domestic F, you can refer to JAL website (Japanese only). I want some Japanese rice NOW!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

JAL will release restructuring plan by end of September

I know it takes time to prepare the restructuring of a company of Japan Airlines' size. But this is not the first day or even month that JAL knows they need to restructure their business. Even the restructuring panel criticizes JAL's plan during their first meeting.

It's OFFICIAL, fuel surcharge is coming back in October

A few hours after I posted about fuel surcharge probably will come back in October, Japan Airlines released a press release regarding the surcharge in October. Yes, JAL IS reinstating the fuel surcharge.

Fuel surcharge is *PROBABLY* coming back in October

If you are unfamiliar with Japan Airlines's fuel surcharge, it is based on the 3 month average jet fuel price and it is revised every three months. The next revision will be on October 1 2009. The three month average is USD71.41 per barrel so the surcharge will be the ones listed in zone B on this page, i.e. USD69 per US-Japan sector, IF they follow the old scheme.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

JAL restructuring panel, you need to think more than just cost reductions!

The Japan Airlines restructuring panel will have its first meeting on August 20. This is a panel set up by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) aims at helping JAL to turn around. The panel consists of legal and academic experts, and the Japanese lenders of JAL will act as observers. Hopefully they will come up with something good out of the meeting.

New JAL 45-day advance purchase discount domestic fare

Japan Airlines is rolling out another advance purchase discount domestic tickets, called the Super SAKITOKU Advanced Purchase Fare. You will have to buy the ticket 45 days in advance to take advantage of the saving. The fare rules is more restrictive and it only accumulate 75% of the sector miles. Reservations for flights from November 1 2009 starts on September 1 2009 at 9:30AM Japan time. Maybe you should hold off your purchase if you are planning to fly in November. You can refer to the Super SAKITOKU Advanced Purchase Fare page for details.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

JAL giving away 40 FREE business class upgrades

Japan Airlines Australia is having a Double-Hit Big Campaign to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Australia route right now. Not only you can purchase a roundtrip Economy class ticket between Australia and Japan for only AUD800 (tax excluded), you can also be one of the lucky passengers who get a free upgrade.

Japan Aviation Chief thinks JAL should expand code sharing

Bloomberg reports that the Japan Aviation Chief thinks Japan Airlines should expand its code sharing agreement with other airlines. This would allow JAL to increase its revenue without the extra cost of operating new routes. And guess which airlines they suggest JAL to code share with?

24th anniversary of JL123 crash

Today is the 24th anniversary of the deadliest single plane crash in history. 24 years ago, Japan Airlines flight 123 from Tokyo to Osaka crashed into Osutaka Ridge and and killed 520 people onboard. Only 4 passengers who sat at the back survived. I just read about a story of two girls trying to be recognized as the children of their father who was killed in the crash. Today she could finally climb Mount Osutaka as her late father's daughter and played the song she composed for him. You can read the details of the story Let's hope we are learn from the past incidents and prevent this from happening again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

JAL retires JAL Shell Flat SHEET

JAL fixed the Shell Flat SHEET typo.
JAL fixed the Shell Flat SHEET typo.

Just like the short-lived JAL Sky Shell SHEET, JAL has retired the JAL Shell Flat SHEET today and rolled back to the JAL Shell Flat Seat. If you visit the page again, you can longer see the SHEET (you might need to do a refresh if you are still seeing that).

JAL Premium Value Saver fare is MORE EXPENSIVE than JAL Premium Value fare?

If you are not familiar with Japan Airlines' Premium Economy fares, you can check it out here. The major differences between the two fares are JAL Premium Value fare is upgradable, valid for 6 months instead of 4, has 100% mileage accumulation rate and is refundable even after departure.

LAX and ORD routes JAL Premium Economy tickets now available in the US

Japan Airlines America has finally updated the website with an official press release. You can now make premium economy (PY) ticket reservations on JAL North America website. A roundtrip PY LAX-NRT ticket in booking class E is around USD1450 and the one for ORD-NRT is around USD1550 (taxes excluded). So it about double of the cheapest N fare ticket. I am tempted to try out this new cabin but still can't convince myself it worths the money. What do you think? You can find the official press release here

JAL Shell Flat SHEET!?!?

Japan Airlines has just rolled out their latest and greatest Business class seats-the all mighty JAL Shell Flat SHEET (Look at the words next to the business class seat picture below). They really meant it when they say they are going to implement “nothing-off-limits” cost-cutting measures to improve profitability.

Introducing JAL Shell Flat SHEET!
Introducing JAL Shell Flat SHEET!

September movie list on JAL flights

You can find the September movie list on Japan Airlines flights on their website. The only movie from last month was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the rest are all new!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

JL062 on July 28 2009

Once again, I upgraded to business class using the Super Discounted Upgrade Award (10,000 miles for a business class upgrade) on my return flight. My flight was COMPLETELY FULL and I didn't reserve the upper deck this time, so the service was less attentive as expected. But I would still pay 10,000 miles for the upgrade on any day :). Here are some pictures I took during the flights.

Premium economy on LAX and ORD routes finally ready for sale

As announced in the press release, Japan Airlines updated its Japan region website and you can finally make a premium economy reservation on Los Angeles (JL061/062) and Chicago (JL009/010) routes. The web goku ticket for a NRT-LAX route trip is selling for ¥170,000 (~ USD1745.73). Not sure if it really worths the money for the seat upgrade as other people has said in FlyerTalk forum, you aren't going to get much more sleep compare to the economy class. All you get is a bit of extra leg room, lounge access and amenities. Does it really worth USD700-1000 for these? Especially for the elites who already have lounge access.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

More flight suspension and frequency reduction coming

Japan Airlines has just announced its first quarter result and it is NOT looking good. JAL lost 99 billion yen in the previous quarter (does this mean JAL is losing USD10M every day!?!?!). As a result, JAL is making drastic changes to its network and October 25 2009 is the date to remember since most of the changes is scheduled on that day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

JAL supports Food Action Nippon

Food Action Nippon is a movement to improve Japan's food self sufficient rate. Japan Airlines has agreed to support this movement. Starting from August 1 2009, JAL will start serving a special bread made with 30% domestically produced rice flour in First and Business class cabins. According to the press release, the rice flour will give a distinctive flavor to the bread. This might even taste like a mochi LOL Too bad I missed this by a few days. I will have to wait until the next time I fly in business class with JAL to try this.

Source: JAL Press Release (Japanese only)

How fresh are the freshly baked bread at JAL Narita lounge?

Two months ago I posted about Japan Airlines is serving freshly baked bread at JAL's Narita lounge. I had the chance to taste the bread at both the NRT Sakura lounge and a Maison Kayser cafe in Ikebukuro's Sunshine City mall. And I found the bread at JAL lounge is actually fresher!!! The croissant at Sakura lounge is still crispy while the one I had at the cafe is a bit soft. But would I buy one next time I saw it in the store/cafe? Probably not. The croissant tastes good but there's nothing special to it. But would I have one if it's free? Yes LOL

Eco Jet #2 and more fuel saving initiative

Japan Airlines is expanding its Eco Jet to the international fleet. The Eco Jet Number 2 (JA731J) is a Boeing 777-300ER and will be used in the Tokyo- London, Paris, Frankfurt and Seoul. But it took its first flight on August 4, 2009 as JL711 from Tokyo to Singapore. Don't get surprised when you see a green tail plane.

I am BACK!

I have been back for a week actually but was a bit busy. My posting will gradually return to normal. A lot has happened in the last few weeks. JAL has a few more minor incidents including another engine problem during takeoff on a 773, 2 planes almost crashed due to a communication error with the ATC. Also there was another computer glitch in JAL domestic check in system, some minor changes in service I noticed on my HK-Japan flights, etc... I will try to catch up with those news in the posting but it might take a while (or it might never happen at all LOL)