Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka chartered JAL Boeing 787.

Former Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (Nippon Professional Baseball) pitcher Masahiro Tanaka chartered a Japan Airlines (JL/JAL) Boeing 787 to fly to New York, after a recent signing of a seven-year, 155 million-USD contract with the New York Yankees (Major League Baseball).

Flight JL8808, operated by B787-8 JA824J, departed Tokyo/Narita (NRT/RJAA) at 2020 local time, and arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK/KJFK) 10 hours later at 1623 local time. On board the 186-seat Dreamliner (42 Business, 144 Economy) were himself, his wife, three other officials, and his pet dog 'Haru'. It is estimated to have cost around 200,000 USD and it was paid for by himself. Mr. Tanaka chartered the aircraft to "keep himself in the best condition in preparation of the spring camp", according to a Rakuten spokesperson. The Dreamliner was ferried back to Japan later that day empty.

Establishing a NPB record of 26-consecutive-decision wins in 2013 and playing an undisputed role in helping the Sendai-based team win its first ever Nippon Series, it had been increasingly difficult for him to escape the spotlight anywhere he went. But couldn't he have chartered a smaller aircraft?

Source: FlyTeam, February 9th. (in Japanese)

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