Japan Airlines (JAL) is to order up to 15 Embraer 170s - the Brazilian manufacturer's first deal in the Japanese market. A purchase agreement should be concluded "this spring", and the aircraft will be operated from the 2008 fiscal year by JAL's subsidiary J-Air.
JAL is trying to implement a wide-ranging restructuring after heavy losses in 2006, and modernising its fleet is part of the programme. Aircraft "downsizing" is a key element of the modernisation, says chief executive Haruka Nishimatsu in an interview with Flight International sister publication Airline Business.
However, he does not rule out a future order for an ultra-large aircraft. "In regards to the A380, if it turns out that our competitors come to offer highly competitive services it may be that we will have to consider these larger aircraft again," he says.

JAL's E-170
© Embraer 
JAL's E-170 order provides Embraer with its first Japanese customer

Source: Flight International