Sunday, April 27, 2014

JTA to boost Haneda - Ishigaki with Boeing 767.

On April 24th, Japan Transocean Air (NU/JTA) announced that they will add a second round-trip between Tokyo/Haneda (HND/RJTT) and Ishigaki (ISG/ROIG), in the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, during the peak summer vacation travel period from July 18th to August 31st. The additional flight will be operated by a Boeing 767 wet-leased from Japan Airlines (JL/JAL).
JTA's Boeing 737-446 JA8999 'SWAL Jet' (retro-jet) in the livery of Southwest Air Lines arrives at Naha. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

Frequency increases:
Haneda – Ishigaki from 1 to 2 daily with 763/734.
NU071 HND 0645 – 0940 ISG 734 Daily
NU073 HND 1350 – 1645 ISG 763 Daily *NEW. Operated by JAL. Jul/18 – Aug/31.
NU070 ISG 1030 – 1330 HND 734 Daily
NU076 ISG 1725 – 2020 HND 763 Daily *NEW. Operated by JAL. Jul/18 – Aug/31.

JTA used to operate a Boeing 767 sourced from JAL every summer from 1990 to 1995, mostly on wet-leases. During that period, Boeing 767-346 JA8267 was dry-leased from JAL from May 1992 to March 1993 in full Southwest Air Lines (JTA's former name) livery and 767-246 JA8232 from June 1993 to October 1994 in JTA's earlier color scheme.
JAL Boeing 767-346 JA8268 taxies at Haneda. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

Ishigaki Island is the prefecture's third largest island by area, behind Okinawa and Iriomote, and is located only 270 kilometers from Taiwan. Surrounded by crystal clear waters and pristine coral reefs, it has been the most popular diving destination in Japan.

History of JTA can be traced back to 1967, when they were set up as Southwest Air Lines to take over Okinawa's intra-island routes then operated by Air America (AAM). Okinawa was controlled by the U.S.A. after World War II until 1972, and the U.S. military still retains a significant presence due to the island's strategic location in the Pacific. The current name 'Japan Transocean Air' was adopted on July 1st, 1993, and they are presently owned 70.1% by JAL, 12.9% by Okinawa Prefecture, and the remainder by local businesses.

Source: Japan Transocean Air, April 24th. (PDF; in Japanese)

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