A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER in the midst of a turnaround at YVR
On the heels of Cathay Pacific retiring the Queen of the Skies from the North American services, they have announced a service expansion to add another US city. As of May 1, 2015, Cathay Pacific will begin service to its sixth destination in the United States with the addition of Boston.
The Boston service also comes fairly quick on the heels of Cathay launching their service to Newark earlier this year and adds another connection to the Northeast. With multiple daily services to New York’s JFK Airport, a daily flight to Newark, and now a four times per week service to Boston, things are picking up for the east coasters.
Why Boston though? Like Newark, it doesn’t seem the most likely of destinations. According to Cathay Pacific, among its connecting passengers to Hong Kong, Boston is the largest market with over 53,000 passengers flying between Boston’s Logan Airport and Hong Kong. All 53,000 of them having to connect somewhere along the way. That sounds like a fairly decent reason to add a daily service to me!
On Saturday April 22nd, Japan Airline (JAL) started their first flight using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Flight JAL008 lifted off from Narita, Tokyo (NRT) and then were met with a crowd at Boston Logan (BOS). Not only is this the first route, using the 787 Dreamliner, to the US, it is also the first time the aircraft has been put on a brand new route.
JAL’s first Boston flight was 100% booked and about 98% filled for the rest of April, showing positive demand for the new route.
JAL's 787 at Boston. Image from JAL.
“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.”
JAL took delivery of their first two 787 Dreamliners on March 26th and have announced their plans to operate the aircraft also from Narita to San Diego.
According to Bloomberg, the airline is also looking at using the Dreamliner on flights to Madrid, Berlin and Dusseldorf. JAL is also considering the possibility of re-opening routes using the 787 that were not profitable with the larger Boeing 777 from Nagoya and Osaka’s Kansai airports.
HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). JAL Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Paine Field. Photo by Boeing.
Japan Airlines (JAL) announced today that they plan to take official delivery of their first 787 Dreamliner this Sunday, March 25th, with a delivery ceremony to follow on the 26th. The aircraft is then scheduled to take off from Paine Field at about 4pm local time on Monday to head to Narita in Tokyo with JAL pilots at the controls.
The airline plans to start operating their first Dreamliner on their new Boston to Tokyo route, currently scheduled to start on April 22, 2012. JAL has also announced the intention of starting 787 service between San Diego and Tokyo later in the year.
HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). Executive Class cabin on JAL's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo by Boeing.
JAL becomes the second airline to take delivery of a 787, but this aircraft will represent a few firsts: It will be the first one to be delivered with GEnx engines, the first to be commercially fly a route to the US and the first to be used on a brand new route (ANA’s 787s have replaced other aircraft on routes that already existed).
The first aircraft is configured in a two class layout, with 42 seats in business class and 144 seats in economy.
HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). The economy cabin inside JAL's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo by Boeing.
The business (or executive) class seats are in a 2-2-2 layout and provide about 60″ of seat pitch and a bit over 21″ of width. The seat will recline to about 171 degrees. The Economy class is configured in a 2-4-2 layout and will provide 31″ seat pitch and 18.5″ seat width.
HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). JAL's Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking off at Paine Field. Photo by Boeing.
JAL’s new in-flight entertainment system, called SKY MANGA, will also debut on the aircraft. The interior has a very different looking atmosphere than ANA’s Dreamliner cabin.