significant changes to jal routes from october 2010

Note: some history and background as to why JAL is in the state it is in this post.

Japan Airlines (JAL) announced in a press release on 28 April 2010 significant revisions to its flight routes, flight frequency and fleet plans for the 2010 financial year (1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 in Japan). These moves are aimed at cutting unprofitable routes, reducing a reliance on anticipated future demands and returning back to profits. With the retirement of numerous aircraft and closure of selected overseas offices, fixed costs are expected to significantly reduce.

Discontinuation of routes – a re-evaluation of airports used

JAL will discontinue 15 international routes and 30 domestic routes. That is a 40% reduction on international operations and a 30% reduction on domestic operations. Tokyo’s inconveniently far away Narita Airport (新東京国際空港) will feel this reduction most. JAL will instead increase its focus on Tokyo’s International (Haneda) Airport (東京国際空港), which in 2007 expanded to handle international traffic. Later this year, a new fourth runway and passenger terminal (to replace the existing international terminal) will further increase international traffic capacity. It is important to note that Haneda Airport remains open during the night time (11pm-6am) curfew at Narita Airport, making it more attractive especially for late night or early morning flights to Europe and the United States.

Osaka’s Kansai International Airport (関西国際空港) and Nagoya’s Chubu Centrair Airport (中部国際空港) will continue to support short-haul flights to Asia and Hawaii, but with smaller planes. Only the Kansai-Seoul Gimpo (김포국제공항) route will have increased capacity with larger planes.

List of international route changes

The international routes to be suspended (from 30 September 2010 to 2 October 2010, varies for each route):

    JAL: Dream Skyward

  • Narita – New York – Sao Paolo (2 weekly flights)
  • Narita = Amsterdam (7 weekly flights)
  • Narita = Milan (4 weekly flights)
  • Narita = Rome (3 weekly flights)
  • Narita = Brisbane (7 weekly flights)
  • Narita = Denpasar (7 weekly flights)
  • Narita – Kona – Honolulu (7 weekly flights)
  • Kansai = Denpasar (7 weekly flights)
  • Kansai = Guam (7 weekly flights)
  • Kansai = Hong Kong (7 weekly flights)
  • Kansai = Guangzhou (3 weekly flights)
  • Kansai = Beijing (7 weekly flights)
  • Chubu = Nagoya (7 weekly flights)
  • Chubu = Guangzhou (4 weekly flights)

International flight reductions from 1 October 2010:

  • Narita = Seoul Incheon (21 to 14 weekly flights)
  • Narita = Guam (14 to 7 weekly flights)
  • Narita = San Francisco (7 to 0 weekly flights) (after commencement of Haneda flights)
  • Narita = Beijing (14 to 7 weekly flights) (after commencement of Haneda flights)
  • Narita = Hong Kong (14 to 7 weekly flights) (after commencement of Haneda flights)
  • Narita = Taipei Taoyuan (21 to 14 weekly flights) (after commencement of Haneda flights)

New international route commencements and routes with increased capacity:

  • Haneda = Seoul Gimpo (14 to 21 weekly flights)
  • Haneda = Beijing (7 to 14 weekly flights) (subject to aviation civil authority approval)
  • Haneda = Shanghai Hongqiao (7 to 14 weekly flights) (subject to aviation civil authority approval)
  • Haneda = Taipei Songshan (0 to 14 weekly flights)
  • Haneda = San Francisco (0 to 7 weekly flights)
  • Haneda = Honolulu (0 to 7 weekly flights)
  • Haneda = Bangkok (0 to 7 weekly flights)
  • Haneda = Paris (0 to 7 weekly flights)

In a table of planned aircraft changes for various international routes, the move is clearly towards smaller aircraft. The removal of Boeing 747-400 planes from selected trans-Pacific routes have been replaced by a combination of the twin engine Boeing 777-200ER and Boeing 767-300ER planes. Some short-haul flights from Narita and Kansai to Shanghai Hongqiao and Beijing have been replaced with smaller Boeing 737-800 planes.

Domestic route changes

For more information on changes to domestic flights, refer to the press release.

(Image via Boeing Images)

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