By James Wilkinson
Japan Airlines is set to become the first airline to commercially operate Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner to Sydney when flights from Tokyo Narita are upgraded to the revolutionary aircraft from December 1.
JAL’s Boeing 787-8 is headed for Sydney
JAL’s 787-8s have not yet taken to the sky after safety issues with onboard lithium ion batteries forced the grounding of all 787s worldwide in mid-January this year.
Services operated by JAL’s 787-8s – on the Tokyo Narita-Boston, Narita-San Diego, Narita-Singapore, and Tokyo Haneda-Singapore and Haneda-Beijing routes – are set to commence on June 1, when the airline expects the installation of modifications is completed.
The deployment of the Boeing 787-8 to Sydney by Qantas’ oneworld alliance partner Japan Airlines will replace the existing Boeing 777-200ER aircraft that operate on the route and the new Dreamliners feature JAL’s latest ‘Shell Flat Neo’ business class seat, one of the most advanced in the industry.
Alongside Sydney, JAL today also announced the B787-8s would be flown from Tokyo Narita to Helsinki from July 12, Moscow from September 1 and Bangkok from December 2, while flights from Tokyo Haneda to San Francisco will be operated by Dreamliners from September 1.
Prior to the grounding, Qantas’ low-cost airline Jetstar was expected to be flying B787s domestically and regionally before the end of 2013, however an updated delivery schedule is yet to be released by Boeing.
Rumours are also afoot that Qatar Airways could operate the B787 to Perth in the coming months.