ANA Boeing 787 at Paine Field. Photo by David Parker Brown.
As 787s around the world return to the sky after the infamous battery incident, airlines work to get their aircraft back to full utilization. United Airlines resumed domestic services between its major hubs of Houston, Chicago & San Francisco, while Qatar Airways returned their Dreamliner to their short Dubai route before starting service back up to London. All Nippon Airways (ANA), which currently operates the largest 787 fleet of 18 aircraft, will start putting their 787s back to service starting June 1.
Prior to the battery incidents, ANA operates two Dreamliner flights to North America: Seattle (SEA) and San Jose (SJC). Once the grounding came into effect both routes were suspended and the industry speculated what would happen to the destinations. Other 787 services like Frankfurt & Beijing (both served from Tokyo Haneda) were changed to other aircraft to keep them active. Would SJC and SEA remain 787 destinations? Yes and no.
ANA’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner (JA813A) arrives to San Jose. Photo by Brandon Farris / AirlineReporter.com.
Although there has been recent bad news regarding the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, we are happy to share some good news: Japan-based All Nippon Airlines (ANA) expanded its route network with its first arrival into Silicon Valley’s own Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) on Friday January 11, 2013.
SJC becomes the eighth US destination for ANA. The new routing will provide direct five days a week service to Tokyo Narita (NRT) from SJC. This will be the first time that SJC has a direct flight to an Asian City since American Airlines pulled out of NRT-SJC in 2006.
BONUS: Video of Flying on ANA’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The flight, ANA 1076, landed nearly an hour early into SJC and pushed back on-time with no issues. When asked about the recent issues facing the 787, ANA Chairmen of the Board Yoji Ohashi stated, “We can not give you an official comment, but we are confident about the safety of the Dreamliner.”
This is the first 787 to serve the San Francisco area and has brought excitement to those who were able to fly on it. Passengers still have confidence in the aircraft as the flight in and out was completely sold out and is sold out for the first week, according to ANA officials.
“We are confident that passenger demand will remain high between SJC and Japan, as well as other Asian cities, with Tokyo as the gateway into Asia. Reservations for the route are already showing great demand and we are excited that customers will enjoy ANA’s utmost service with Japanese hospitality on our innovative Dreamliner,” shared ANA president and CEO Shinichiro Ito in a statement from Tokyo.
Although the service will begin as five days per week, it should increase to daily service in the future.
“We are pleased to launch ANA’s new direct service between Tokyo and SJC today,” Mayor Chuck Reed said. “Weather on business or visiting friends and family, Silicon Valley residents will find that ANA’s new flights offer a convenient connection to Japan and the Pacific Rim. I thank ANA for their investment in SJC.”
The new service even allowed Mayor Reed to take a shot at its partner airport SFO, “You can fly out of one of the best on-time airports in the country over an airport with one of the worst on-time records.”
AirlineReporter.com managed to get a passenger’s account of the flight to Narita from SJC. Alan Tsuda was nice enough to send us a report on his experience, “In economy, it was the most comfortable full plane experience I’ve ever had. Quite spacious, usually, I take an aisle seat, but this time had an interior seat. The center has four seats with a small gap in the middle, which gives the interior passengers just enough more room to make a difference. I did not notice the lighting to be dramatically different, but it was pleasant.”
ANA’s 787 sits next to the terminal in San Jose. Photo by Brandon Farris / AirlineReporter.com.
Tsuda continued, “The spaciousness of the cabin makes it feel much more open, less of a cave feeling. Definitely noticed that I needed less hydration, so I suppose there was more humidity in cabin. I can’t be sure, but I felt that the noise (I was behind the wings) was slightly less than in the 747 that I took for the next leg of my trip. Subjectively I heard less low end rumble. I would definitely recommend the plane and ANA from SJC to NRT.”
The lighting and increased humidity of the 787 might be obvious benefits to passengers flying, but the route itself is more telling of the benefits of the 787 Dreamliner. This new route wouldn’t make economic sense on a larger aircraft, like the Boeing 777, but it does with the smaller and more efficient 787. The ability to fly more non-stop routes, like SJC-NRT is one of the huge benefits of the Dreamliner.
Although this is the first new international service into the airport, they are confident that they will bring in a few more international carriers in the near future as they are in talks with several airlines. Soon, I hope to write a story discussing what the future may hold for SJC after talking to airport officials while at the event.
ADDITIONAL ANA BOEING 787 SCJ PHOTOS:
|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.
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