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Japan Airlines to Introduce Airbus A350-1000 to New York

The new aircraft, which will replace its existing fleet of Boeing 777-300s, will first be used on flights between Tokyo and New York

by Fergus Cole

February 10, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of Airbus

Japan Airlines (JAL) will begin operating its new flagship, the Airbus A350-1000, on its Tokyo to New York route later this year. The Japanese flag carrier has revealed that its new jets will be ready in time for the Northern Winter 2023 season, and they will first be deployed on its daily service between Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Following its introduction on this popular route, the aircraft will be deployed to several more services connecting Japan to North America and Europe.

Japan Airlines first ordered the brand-new jets back in 2013, and it currently has 13 of them on order, according to aviation data analysts Cirium. The new Airbus A350-1000s will replace its aging fleet of Boeing 777s. The carrier also has 16 A350-900s already in service, with another two set for delivery, while it also holds the option to purchase an additional 25 aircraft from Airbus.

However, while its fleet of Airbus A350-900s is primarily used on domestic flights within Japan, the larger A350-1000 model will be used for intercontinental services. The airline also said that passengers on the new aircraft can expect an updated and refreshed interior and brand-new cabin products, although no further details have yet been released.

Photo: Courtesy of Airbus

“With the introduction of the Airbus A350-1000, we are developing new cabin specifications for international flights to provide a new unprecedented experience for each and every one of our customers,” JAL said in a media statement on February 2.

JAL’s Northern Winter schedule for 2023/24 begins on October 29 this year, with the carrier’s first flight with the A350-1000 expected then. Its daily service from Tokyo Haneda to JFK – flight JL6 – departs at 11:05 AM each day and touches down in New York at 10:00 AM. The return journey – flight JL5 – takes off from JFK at 12:45 PM each day, arriving in Tokyo at 5:15 PM.

The route currently uses a Boeing 777-300ER, which has a total capacity for 244 passengers across four cabins – First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy. However, the Airbus A350-1000 has a much greater capacity, typically seating between 350 and 410 passengers, depending on the cabin configuration.

To make connections even smoother for its customers, JAL will also be moving from Terminal 1 at JFK to Terminal 8 on May 28. This means it will share a terminal with fellow oneworld partner American Airlines (as well as British Airways, Iberia, and Finnair), simplifying and speeding up connections for passengers on codeshare routes.

“This will shorten the minimum connecting time required for American Airlines-operated flights within the U.S. and to cities in Central and South America,” said Japan Airlines in a statement.