Japan Airlines has entered its new flagship, the Airbus A350-1000, into service towards the United States and New York, thus flexing the capabilities of the new aircraft.
The entry into service for the A350-1000 follows a multi-month wait as aircraft manufacturers, including Airbus, battle supply chain difficulties that can delay aircraft delivery.
New York Is The First Destination
JA01WJ was the first A350-1041 delivered to Japan Airlines, with flight records showing the aircraft arrived in Tokyo from Toulouse on December 14, 2023.
On January 24, 2024, it operated its first commercial flight with service between Tokyo Haneda (HND) and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) as JL6, the return leg operating as Jl5.
The debut of the A350-1000 follows relatively little activity before the delivery flight. When introducing a new aircraft type, airlines typically deploy the aircraft across short-haul domestic flights to familiarise the crew.
Adding the A350-1000 doesn’t represent a new aircraft family but rather a new variant joining the fleet. Japan Airlines heavily relies on the A350-900s. However, the configuration and overall purpose of the -900 and the -1000 significantly differ, with the latter focusing on long-range flights.
Exciting Times For Japan Airlines
While New York has been earmarked as the first destination the A350-1000 will be deployed towards, the airline plans to begin serving Dallas (DFW) and also from Tokyo Haneda (HND) sometime in the future.
Many future routes are earmarked to be operated by the A350-1000, especially as Japan Airlines looks to use this next-generation widebody to replace existing Boeing 777-300ERs. However, much will rest on the frequency of arrival for these aircraft.
Japan Airlines says 2 A350-1000s have already been delivered. However, the second unit has yet to enter service; when it does, the frequency to New York can increase daily on the A350-1000. The arrival of a third unit will then make operating to Dallas with the widebody possible.
Inside The Japan Airlines A350-1000
Japan Airlines says all Airbus A350-1000s should be delivered by 2028 to complete the carrier’s fleet renewal efforts.
Alongside a first flight of the A350-1000 in October, the airline revealed the new First and Business class suites slated to feature on the aircraft as they look to enhance customer satisfaction levels.
After a thorough review, Japan Airlines says all cabin classes have been carefully designed and selected. The airline hopes that those who board the A350-1000 will be able to be immersed in the elegance of Japanese culture.
First Class will feature six suites with state-of-the-art features to create a unique environment. For the first time, privacy doors will enter a Japan Airlines cabin alongside a seat with three seating modes.
The business class will feature 54 seats, an increase from the previous aircraft. The additional capacity of the A350-1000 makes possible more flexibility when designing the cabin.
Premium Economy and Standard Economy make up the final two cabin classes provided by the airline on the series. This means that their Airbus A350-1000s will come with four classes for JAL.