JAL beats ANA for first HND departure

JL002 HND departure.jpgJL002 HND flight info.jpgNH1006 HND flight info.jpgBanzai!

This morning was supposed to see ANA and JAL simultaneously offer the first regularly scheduled international flights out of Tokyo’s Haneda airport following the opening of a fourth runway earlier this month.

ANA flight NH1006 to Los Angeles and JAL flight JL002 to San Fransisco were both scheduled to depart Haneda at 00:05 Sunday morning, granting neither carrier the title of first to depart.

In an example of renowned Japanese efficiency, NH1006 pushed back 14 minutes early at 23:51 Saturday night. But that was not enough to edge out JAL, whose JL002 pushed back 9 minutes earlier at 23:42, giving it the title of first carrier to depart HND (see flight statuses above).

You can watch a video of JL002′s departure here. The clip includes dozens of ramp workers waving goodbye to the flight, a scene that would resemble Times Square on New Year’s Eve if everyone wore white gloves and waved marshalling wands.

Despite the celebrations, I suspect somewhere there is a bureacrat woefully upset at this whole matter as history books will need to be re-written to reflect that the first departure occurred a day earlier than planned.

Images: FNN news, JAL website, ANA website

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