Japan Airlines is edging closer to beginning its dedicated freighter operations with the 767 aircraft.
Dedicated Freighter Operations Coming
Japan Airlines has previously utilised space on its passenger aircraft to serve cargo demand.
This was a common practice seen during the pandemic as airlines looked towards leveraging their lack of passenger demand to shift towards freight operations.
However, Japan Airlines wanted to move back towards offering dedicated freighter aircraft for a reliable cargo division of the company.
The company is slated to introduce new 767-300ER freighters to help diversify where its revenue comes from. This isn’t an uncommon practice, but the carrier hopes dedicated freighters will give it the additional income it requires.
Interestingly, Japan Airlines used to fly dedicated freighters in 747-400Fs. However, it chose to retire these now more than a decade ago.
A February 2024 Launch For JAL
It’s expected that Japan Airlines will begin these dedicated freighter operations as early as February 2024.
Initially, JAL will follow a similar operation to Air Canada and their cargo division by introducing a converted freighter that previously flew passenger flights.
While JAL will then acquire more converted freighters as it looks to grow, other potential pure-born freighters could prove a worthy option.
This option will also mean the airline will no longer need to lease and rely as much on its passenger operations to provide solutions.
Operations with the freighters are likely to take place to and from East Asia. However, domestic flights will also remain an important focus. Japan Airlines describes it as a hybrid operation, making it, therefore, different from conventional cargo businesses that are present.
A Look At Japan Airlines Fleet
Japan Airlines passenger operations, per latest data, indicate an active fleet of 143 units with two planes in storage.
The airline mostly flies Boeing-produced aircraft with an emphasis on using the next-generation 787 series. Additionally, JAL operates 24 787-8s and 22 787-9s, making it the most significant series type combined.
Alongside the 787 are 13 remaining 777-300ERs deployed across its in-demand services.
A total of 26 Boeing 767-300ERs also remain in service, making JAL one of the few airlines still relying heavily on such a plane.
Operations of widebodies extend with the A350-900, and the company also expects the imminent arrival of the A350-1000.