JAL plans US expansion in 2014

Washington DC
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Japan Airlines (JAL) plans to add “a couple of interior markets” in the USA in 2014, says its vice-president of passenger sales for the Americas, Stephen Smith.

New Boeing 787-8 aircraft will fly the new services, he said at the Boyd Group International Aviation Summit in Baltimore on 4 November. The Oneworld alliance carrier will take delivery of four 787-8s in 2014, he notes.

JAL operates 11 787-8 aircraft and has firm orders for 14 -8s and 20 larger -9s, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows.

Customers have responded well to the Dreamliner on JAL’s flights to Boston, San Diego and San Francisco, says Smith.

Smith did not elaborate on what markets in the interior of the USA JAL is considering, but Dallas/Fort Worth – headquarters to its joint venture and alliance partner American Airlines – would be a likely contender.

Chris Poinsatte, chief financial officer and executive vice-president of airline business and technology at Dallas/Fort Worth International airport, told Airline Business at the World Routes event in October that the airport was in discussions with JAL about potential new service.

The Japanese carrier serves Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York John F. Kennedy, San Diego and San Francisco in the USA, Innovata schedules show.

JAL joined Hainan Airlines in disclosing plans for new service to the USA at the Boyd summit. The Chinese carrier plans to begin service to a “gateway city” on the US east coast, says its executive director US operations Joel Chusid.

Air China has increased capacity between China and the USA by 50% this year compared to 2012, says Chi Zhihang, vice-president and general manager for North America at the Chinese carrier, at the summit.