Thursday, June 18, 2015

JAL takes delivery of first Boeing 787-9.

On June 11th, Japan Airlines' [JL/JAL] first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arrived at Tokyo/Narita [NRT/RJAA] on delivery. Registered JA861J, the aircraft seats 195 in a three-class layout of JAL's award-winning Sky Suite product; 44 Sky Suite (business), 35 Sky Premium (premium economy), and 116 Sky Wider II (economy) seats. It is expected to enter service on the Narita – Jakarta/Soukarno-Hatta [CGK/WIII] route on July 1st.

Boeing 787-9 JA861J arrives at Narita. The two General Electric GEnx-1B74/75 engines create 6% more thrust than the smaller Dash 8s. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

Marked as flight JL8101, the delivery flight across the Pacific departed Paine Field [PAE/KPAE] on June 10th at 1630 PDT, and touched down at Narita on June 11th at 1818 JST. Although JAL's 787-9s share the same seats as the Sky Suite 787-8 (JAL's Sky Suite 787 makes debut.), which carries 161 (38 Sky Suite, 35 Sky Premium, and 88 Sky Wider II), the Dash 9 is 6.1 meters longer and carries 34 more passengers.

Lie-flat staggered business class seats on the Boeing 787-9. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

As with the Sky Suite 787-8, the newly-delivered stretched Dreamliners are equipped with MAGIC-VI in-flight entertainment (IFE) with touch-controlled monitors, in-flight wireless internet connection dubbed JAL Sky Wi-Fi, and toilets in all classes boasting washlets. Cabin LED lighting patterns will be set according to the season, for example with red and green to be featured for December.

Premium economy is in a seven-abreast layout. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

Business class is in a six-abreast (2-2-2) staggered layout with direct aisle access from every seat. Manufactured by B/E Aerospace, the lie-flat seats measure 188 centimeters in length when extended, while its width is 65 centimeters. Premium economy seats are 49 centimeters wide (19.4 inches) with a seat pitch of 107-centimeters (42 inches) and are configured in at seven abreast (2-3-2). Seats are made by Zodiac Aerospace France. Economy class is in a generous eight-abreast (2-4-2) layout, offering five more centimeters in width than nine abreast (3-3-3), which has been the worldwide trend. Zodiac Aerospace USA is responsible for the manufacturing.

JAL continues to opt for eight abreast in economy, continuing to buck the nine-abreast trend. (Photo: Aviation Wire)

JAL has ordered 25 787-8s and 20 787-9s, of which 21 and one have been delivered, respectively. Unlike at rival All Nippon Airways [NH/ANA] where some 787s are also placed on short domestic missions in domestic layouts, all of JAL's 787s fly international routes (except for occasional domestic subsitutions), either for expansion or for replacing older 767-300ERs, which in turn are used to replace the oldest domestic 777s and 767s. JAL has confirmed it has no intention to introduce domestic-configured 787s.

Source: Aviation Wire, June 11th. (in Japanese)
Source: Aviation Wire, June 13th. (in Japanese)
Source: Aviation Wire, June 20th. (in Japanese)

*Edited/updated on June 20th, 2015.

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