JAL to expand domestic first class service


Japan Airlines (JAL) announced they will expand the domestic first class service to Tokyo Haneda (HND) - Okinawa Naha (OKA) route from August 1 2012 and plans to add more flights with domestic first class service on flights to Fukuoka (FUK) and Sapporo Chitose (CTS)
Currently JAL is using their 3-class configured 777s with domestic first class seats on some of the flights between HND and OKA. There flights are only sold as a 2-class ones and certain passengers such as JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) frequent flyers can select the seats in the first class cabin for free although service would still be Class J one. Since most likely the only incremental cost to provide F service would be catering, it seems to make sense to roll out domestic F to this route as well. Not to mention this is one of the longest scheduled domestic routes in JAL network.

The planned domestic F service schedule for HND-OKA route is as follow:

Tokyo Haneda - Okinawa Naha
JL901 HND 06:10 - OKA 08:35 Daily
JL909 HND 10:40 - OKA 13:05 Daily
JL913 HND 11:55 - OKA 14:20 Daily
JL917 HND 12:55 - OKA 15:20 Daily
JL925 HND 17:45 - OKA 20:10 on Sunday

Okinawa Naha - Tokyo Haneda
JL902 OKA 09:50 - HND 12:15 Daily
JL914 OKA 14:30 - HND 16:55 Daily
JL916 OKA 15:35 - HND 18:00 Daily
JL920 OKA 16:35 - HND 19:00 Daily
JL928 OKA 21:05 - HND 23:30 on Sunday

Reservation for domestic F on HND-OKA flights will begin on June 1 2012.

Also, JAL will increase the number of flights with domestic F service on the HND-FUK route from August 1 2012. 13 out of the 17 daily flights will have domestic F service, up from the current 7 daily flights. JAL plans to further increase the frequency with domestic F service on HND-FUK and HND-CTS routes in the second half of the year.

I am not sure how JAL plan to accomplish the frequency increase. Maybe they are planning to convert the existing 7J2 fleet (old 777 planes from JAS) or even add domestic F seats to other aircraft such as 773 and 763. Or it could be the current 777 fleet is just under utilized. Unfortunately the press releases do not give a clear answer to this. I guess we just have to wait to find out :)

For more details including the domestic F offerings, you can refer to JAL press release (Japanese, English)



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