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Boeing 787 Dreamliner Comparison: JAL vs ANA

Let's get ready to rumble! Whose 787 is better? JAL's or ANA's?

Let's get ready to rumble! Whose 787 is better? JAL's or ANA's?

What’s better than one Dreamliner? Two of course. I have been lucky enough to be on 787 Dreamliners for two different airlines: All Nippon Airlines (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL). I have had many people ask me how they were different and figured the answer was good enough for a blog write up.

Now, before I move forward, I want to put a few things out there. First, I have been on ANA’s 787s multiple times and was even able to fly on one. I have only been on JAL’s for a short time while on the ground. The biggest difficulty to compare is that ANA’s Dreamers were set up in a domestic configuration, whereas JAL’s was in an international. Because of this I do not feel it fair to compare everything (like business class seats), but I think there is enough to compare and contrast in this friendly competition.

I have broken down each 787 into different categories and awarded a winner in each:

ANA came out with a special delivery livery for their first two 787 Dreamliners. JAL recently came out with a new livery, but there is nothing special for the 787.

JAL recently came out with a new livery, but there is nothing special on the livery for their first 787 like ANA had.

Delivery Livery: ANA

ANA went all out for their first two Boeing 787s with a special livery. The large “787″ makes it clear that this is a Dreamliner, even to those non AvGeeks. Even though JAL’s new livery is starting to grow on me, it just can’t complete.

JAL's entry way is on the left and ANA's is on the right to their 787s.

JAL's entry way is on the left and ANA's is on the right to its 787s.

Entrance Bar: ANA

When first walking into the 787 there is a large entry way that can be set up as a bar during flight. Although both were impressive, I think that ANA having the wine holders out in the open really made it win this one.

Even though my favorite color is blue, overall, I like the atmosphere of JAL's 787 cabin (on the left) versus ANA's.

Even though my favorite color is blue, overall, I like the atmosphere of JAL's 787 cabin (on the left) versus ANA's.

Overall Cabin Atmosphere: JAL

I really cannot put my finger on it, but JAL’s cabin overall just felt better. This is not to say that ANA’s felt bad, but I think maybe the fact that the economy seats have a lined fabric and the soothing colors just made me feel more comfortable in the JAL 787 versus the ANA. Although, someone else who was at the JAL 787 delivery, who also had been on ANA’s aircraft commented that he liked ANA’s interior atmosphere better.

JAL's lavatories aren't bad (on the left), but you can't beat a lavatory with a window in it that ANA has.

JAL's lavatories aren't bad (on the left), but you can't beat a lavatory with a window in it that ANA has.

Lavatory: ANA

Both airlines offer nifty features in their lavatories, but this one went to ANA for choosing to put a window in one of their lavatories. The window actually provides some pretty amazing views of the 787 wing while in-flight and has the only sunshade in the cabin.

JAL (left) went for more width on each economy seat, where ANA (right) gave more arm room for the folks stuck in the middle.

JAL (left) went for more width on each economy seat, where ANA (right) gave more arm room for the folks stuck in the middle.

Economy Class Width: Both

This one is really about where you sit. Even though the 787 Dreamliner can be configured with nine seats across, both JAL and ANA went with eight. Where ANA put in a double arm-rest into the very middle of the cabin, JAL went with a single armrest in the middle, but spread the width to all the seats. If I were sitting in a middle seat, then ANA wins, but if I am sitting anywhere else, JAL is the winner.

What is more important? Having a larger screen on JAL's 787 (left) or the remote in the seat-back on ANA's (right)?

What is more important? Having a larger screen on JAL's 787 (left) or the remote in the seat-back on ANA's (right)?

In Flight Entertainment Screen: JAL

This is literally for the screen and seat-back only. I was able to spend a few minutes on the ANA 787 to play with the system, but really was not enough time to make any conclusions. I was not able to play with JAL’s.

Just looking at the larger and cleaner looking screen in the JAL 787 wins this one. Although ANA’s screen is a bit smaller, I really like the fact that the remote is in the seat versus in the armrest.

Can you tell which one is which? The one of the left is JAL's and the one on the right is ANA's.

Can you tell which one is which? The one of the left is JAL's and the one on the right is ANA's.

Flight Deck: Both

This almost reminds me of Highlights magazine when I was a child and had two photos and had to try to find the differences. Look hard, there are not going to be too many. The 787 cockpit is a beautiful work of engineering and both of them win.

Conclusion

So if I had to pick only one 787 Dreamliner to fly on right now, which one would it be? Ha! That is like asking which child is your favorite. JAL, ANA and Boeing have done a great job with the new interiors and passengers will enjoy flying on either.

Those who are loyal to either JAL or ANA are probably not going to be swayed to change airlines based on differences in their 787 configurations.

Follow Along: The Delivery of JAL’s First (and possibly second) Boeing 787 Dreamliner

 

HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). JAL's Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking off at Paine Field. Photo by Boeing.

HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). JAL's Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking off at Paine Field. Photo by Boeing.

Today, Japan Airlines (JAL) has officially taken delivery of their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner (JA822J). There are also strong rumors that JAL might take (or has already taken) delivery of their second aircraft (JA825J) as well.

Although the official paperwork has been signed, Boeing and JAL will not celebrate the delivery until tomorrow morning. There are some smaller media events today (ie tour of the 787 flight simulator), but the main event will start at about 9:30am PT on Monday and last until Noon. You are invited to follow along with the delivery adventure via Twitter; be sure to follow #JAL787, @AirlineReporter, @FlightBlogger and of course @BoeingAirplanes.

UPDATE: Boeing confirmed that they delivered two 787 Dreamliners to JAL on the 25th.

Japan Airlines to Take Delivery of Their First 787 Dreamliner on March 25th + Photos of the Interior

JAL Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Paine Field. Photo by Boeing.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

PHOTO: JAL’s First Boeing 787 Dreamliner in New Livery (updated)

HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). JAL's first Boeing 787 rolls out of the paint hangar in new livery. Photo by Boeing.

HI RES IMAGE (click for larger). JAL's first Boeing 787 rolls out of the paint hangar in new livery. Photo by Boeing.

From Boeing’s press release: “The first Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787 Dreamliner to enter service for Japan Airlines (JAL) rolled out of the paint hangar last night. The airplane’s livery features the iconic new brand mark on its tail and underscores the airline’s commitment to provide the highest level of service to customers and contribute to the advancement of society. The logo is a distinct symbol of the airline which was the first Japanese carrier to fly internationally from Japan since 1954.”

This is the new livery that JAL first premiered on one of their Boeing 767s back in March 2011 and was shown off in drawings in January 2011. JAL already had multiple 787 Dreamliners painted in their older livery at Paine Field and it was assumed that they would be re-painted in the new livery before delivery.

The resurrection of the crane is to match the airline’s, “new philosophy and corporate policy which underscore the company’s re-commitment to provide the highest levels of service to customers and to raise its corporate value in order to contribute to the advancement of society.”

I have seen the livery in person a few times now on 767s and 737s and I have to say I am still not a huge fan of it. I am okay with simplicity and I realize this is a cultural thing with connecting with the airline’s roots, but give me a swooping cheatline or something. Although it does look better on the 787 vs the other aircraft I have seen.

What do you think of the new JAL livery on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner?

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Update: Delivery Schedule and Service Readiness with ANA

Boeing 787 Dreamliners for ANA, JAL and China Southern sit waiting for parts at Paine Field.

Boeing 787 Dreamliners for ANA, JAL and China Southern sit waiting for parts at Paine Field.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is about to start a new round of testing to prepare for its first customer, All Nippon Airways (ANA), during the third quarter of 2011. During the week of July 4th, the second Dreamliner, ZA002 is expected to start service readiness testing in Japan.

Both companies will help to simulate in-service operations at several airports throughout Japan. ANA’s maintenance crews will also have the ability to service the 787 during the testing, including fit checks for airplane jacks, towing and refueling the aircraft. The testing is expected to take place during the week of July 4th.  This will also mark the first time that the 787 has flown to and with-in Japan.

At this point, ANA is expecting their first 787 Dreamliner sometime between August and September. Boeing is not officially talking about who will receive the next few 787s. However, Boeing President Jim McNerney announced that China Southern should receive their first Dreamliner during the fourth quarter this year.

Japan Airlines (JAL) has recently announced they will operate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on a route from Narita Japan to Boston, starting in April 2012, but a JAL spokes person confirmed to me via email that this will not be the first 787 they will receive. “The first 787 will not be on the [Tokyo to Boston] route, but this route is the first one named by JAL to use the 787.” The spokesperson explained. “We haven’t announced where the first 787 will be deployed to.” JAL hopes to receive their first 787 by the end of 2011 and receive five Dreamliners by the end of the 2011 fiscal year.

It is not exactly clear if China Southern or JAL will receive the second 787, but this timeline suggests that ANA will not be flying the 787 exclusively for very long. With ANA’s pride in being the first customer for the 787 and all their advertising featuring the aircraft and even operating a site dedicated to the aircraft called “ANA We Fly 1st,” I can only imagine that the airline was hoping to be the only airline flying the Dreamliner for a bit longer than a few months at most.