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Photos & Story: Japan Airlines Starts Boeing 787 Dreamliner Service to San Diego

JAL Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner arrives to a water cannon salute in San Diego. Photo: Brandon Farris / AirlineReporter.com.

JAL Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner arrives to a water cannon salute in San Diego. Photo: Brandon Farris / AirlineReporter.com.

On Sunday December 2nd, Japan Airlines (JAL) began its all new service to San Diego from Tokyo-Narita becoming the first 787 operator into the airport and first airline to offer non-stop service to Asia from the city.

“Flying directly into San Diego International Airport, which is conveniently located in the heart of the city, offers transpacific travelers a long-anticipated, efficient and time-saving option,” said JAL President Yoshiharu Ueki. “JAL is delighted to also be a new member of the San Diego community and to be the first to provide residents with a bridge to Tokyo-Narita and one stop connection to more than 15 destinations throughout Asia-a region of economical growth and development.”

The celebratory ribbon inside the terminal.

The celebratory ribbon inside the terminal. Photo: Brandon Farris / AirlineReporter.com.

JAL 66 came in for a smooth landing on-time at 09:50AM and was greeted with a water canon salute. This is the second US destination following the airline’s launch of Boston earlier this year. The service will begin with four times per week, connecting the two cities eventually going daily on March 1st 2013.

“We are very excited to bring the world’s newest airplane to the San Diego Region. The 787 is the reason that this route is happening today,” JAL President Yoshiharu also went on to say,

JAL will operate the flight with the all new Boeing 787 Dreamliner; they have it configured in a two class configuration of 42 Executive Class seats set up in a 2-2-2 layout, and 144 Economy Class seats in a 2-4-2 layout for an overall total of 186 seats onboard its aircraft.

JAL's 787 (JA827J) sits at SAN.

JAL’s 787 (JA827J) sits at SAN. Photo: Brandon Farris / AirlineReporter.com.

“Over the past few years, our bureau has worked closely in partnership with San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and other to expand international service into our destination,” stated Joe Terzi, President & CEO of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Key international markets like Japan represent an incredible opportunity for the continued growth of our region’s tourism industry, and this new Japan Airlines flight allows San Diego to become a stronger player in global tourism and business travel,” Terzi added.

This presents major growth for the San Diego region between Alaska Airlines new offerings and British Airways daily 777 service to London Heathrow Airport. Japan Airlines flight marks the eighth international destination to be offered to residents and the San Diego community are excited by the continued expansion of flights being offered.

ADDITIONAL JAL 787 DREAMLINER PHOTOS AT SAN DIEGO:
 

This story written by…Brandon Farris, Correspondent. Brandon is an avid aviation geek based in Seattle. He got started in Photography and Reporting back in 2010. He loves to travel where ever he has to to cover the story and try to get the best darn shot possible.

@BrandonsBlog | Right Stuff Photography | Flickr

JAL Operates First Boeing 787 Dreamliner Passenger Flight to the US

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.

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.

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.