JAL rolls out new Dreamliner cabins on international routes

JAL's Dreamliners are among the most spacious in the skies today
JAL’s Dreamliners are among the most spacious in the skies today

Japan Airlines will roll out new aircraft and cabin products across a series of international routes this year.

From June 2015, the airline will start deploying its new fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with its Sky Suite cabins, offering 44 fully-flat beds in business class, a new premium economy section with 35 seats, and 116 wider seats in economy class.

This means that in total, the larger B787-9s will feature just 195 seats across the three classes, making it among the most spacious of any twin-aisle aircraft in the skies. It will retain the 2-4-2 economy class seating configuration adopted on the 161-seat B787-8s.

The B787-9 will make its international debut on the Tokyo NaritaJakarta route from 1 July 2015, marking one of a series of Dreamliner deployments planned by JAL this year. The airline’s B787-8s with Sky Suite cabins will also be rolled out on the Narita-Paris and Narita-Delhi routes from 29 March, and on the Narita-Helsinki route from 1 June.

The Sky Suite business class cabins feature fully-flat beds
The Sky Suite business class cabins feature fully-flat beds

B787-8s with standard cabin configurations will also be rolled out on the Tokyo HanedaBangkok, Haneda-Ho Chi Minh City, Narita-Ho Chi Minh City, Haneda-Beijing, Haneda-Seoul Gimpo, and OsakaTaipei routes from 29 March.

Also from this date, JAL will increase the number of B787-8 flights on the Narita-Moscow route from three to four per week, while the Narita-Frankfurt route will be upgraded to the larger B777-300ER aircraft. Some routes will see capacity reductions however, including Narita-Sydney, Haneda-Taipei and Osaka-Shanghai.

JAL’s Sky Suites are being progressively rolled out across the airline’s international fleet of B767s, B777s and B787s.

How the world’s Boeing 787-9s compare

The mid-sized version of the Dreamliner series, the Boeing 787-9 was designed to handle approximately 280 passengers in a standard two-class configuration, and has a maximum permitted capacity of 420 seats. So JAL’s 195-seat version is very spacious. In comparison, Etihad Airways’ new B787-9 offers 235 seats in three classes, while Air New Zealand’s has 302 seats. Low-cost carrier Scoot is expected to fit its new B787-9s with 375 seats in a two-class layout.

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