Japan Airlines (JAL) demonstrated the strategic use of the state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner with the official launch of the first ever nonstop service between Boston Logan and Tokyo, Narita.
JAL008 took off from Tokyo, Narita and landed at Boston Logan where passengers were welcomed by JAL Chairman, Masaru Onishi, JAL Senior Vice President for the Americas, Hiroyuki Hioka, and Massport Director of Aviation, Ed Freni. Lexington Minutemen in traditional uniform were drumming up excitement as customers began arriving for the first flight to Japan and the aircraft has now departed from Boston Logan as JAL007 bound for Tokyo, Narita, accomplishing JAL's maiden revenue round-trip flights of the super-efficient, GEnx-powered Dreamliner. This was at the same time, the debut of the world's newest aircraft type in the United States.
"By deploying the 787 Dreamliner on long-haul routes to markets that can garner substantial travel demand such as Boston, JAL is making best use of the aircraft's long-range capability, appropriate capacity, and its economic performance," said JAL President Yoshiharu Ueki at the departure gate ceremony of JAL008 in Narita yesterday to celebrate this landmark event for JAL, Boeing, and Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport). "We are very happy to have such strong support from the Boston community, Massport, Boeing, and joint business partner American Airlines, to establish this direct link between Boston and Tokyo never-before available."
"Last year, more than 400,000 people flew from Boston Logan to Asia and either ended their trip in Tokyo or continued on to China, Southeast Asia or India,'' said David Mackey, Interim CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority, which owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport. "This nonstop service connecting New England to Japan is historic and will help businesses prosper, open up new leisure destinations, and bring nations closer together.''
"We are honored to see the 787 Dreamliner begin its first commercial service to the U.S. with the launch of JAL's Tokyo to Boston route," said Boeing Japan president Mike Denton, who was on the flight. "The 787 brings new levels of flexibility to airlines in their network development, and this is exactly the kind of long-haul point-to-point route the 787 was designed to fly. Congratulations to JAL and all their passengers participating in this exciting, pioneering flight."
The new transpacific service is currently the tenth joint business route offered with fellow oneworld alliance member American Airlines.
"We look forward to working with our joint business partner, Japan Airlines, in making this route a success," said John Bowers, American's Managing Director - Strategic Alliances, Asia Pacific. "This is an exciting new route that will benefit our customers traveling to the U.S. East Coast."
Boston is the seventh gateway in JAL's North American network. With JAL's codeshare arrangements with American Airlines as well as JetBlue Airways, customers can enjoy more convenient connections especially up and down the east coast. Beyond Japan, customers can connect to and from major Asian cities throughout JAL's extensive network at Tokyo, Narita.
JAL's 787 Dreamliner is currently fitted with 42 seats in business, featuring the Executive Class JAL SHELL FLAT NEO seats that are 5 cm (2 inches) wider (than the seats now fitted on JAL's Boeing 777s) in a 2-2-2 configuration, and 144 in Economy Class with 2 cm (0.8 inches) wider space than current seats and arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration. JAL has on order a total of 45 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Some highlights of the revolutionary aircraft include larger windows with electronically dimmable shades, as well as higher ceilings, lower cabin pressure and better humidity for a noticeably more comfortable in-flight experience. JAL's hospitality is reflected in customer-contact points throughout the cabin and even in the work space for cabin attendants such as the kitchen equipment in the galley. Utilizing the LED lights in the Dreamliner, JAL created an original cabin lighting design to enhance the ambience onboard with a sense of the four seasons in Japan, such as pink hues of cherry blossoms in spring, or sky blue in the summer months of July and August. The lighting also adapts at various timings during the flight, to make the environment more conducive during meal service and for resting or waking up.