Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer Lindgren | JDLMultimedia
Somewhere in Massachusetts, a mid-’90s family photo album possesses the first photo I ever took of a Boeing 747. It was a Virgin Atlantic bird at Orlando International.
I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw the photo, but I can still recall it clearly twenty-five years later: poorly framed through the window of a Delta 737-200 that I definitely did not appreciate enough at the time; the distinctive Virgin red tail towered over everything else, glowing in the humid, golden-hour Florida air.
While Disney World itself might have been the highlight of going to Disney World for most kids, the airport and the airplanes were the far and away winner for me. I loved every detail that I didn’t hate (turns out younger me found flying absolutely petrifying, but that’s another story).
The curbside chaos at Boston Logan, with barking state troopers and bustling skycaps. The busyness of the terminal, filled with people and the promise of going to new places. All the different airlines and airplanes, many of whom are no longer with us. The smell of the forced air on boarding (gosh I love that smell). Riding that skytrain thing, I don’t know what it’s called, at the airport in Orlando.
It was thrilling to ten year old me.
Yet craning my neck out the window, trying to steal a glimpse of the Virgin 747s after landing – that was always the highlight. Every time.
As an AvGeek, if you have never flown an inaugural, it’s something to consider doing. That’s not to say that every first flight comes with fanfare, but JetBlue knows how to throw an inaugural, complete with…
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.”
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.