JAL to restructure Routes, Frequency and Fleet Plan for FY 2006

Travel News Asia 6 February 2006

In its route, frequency and plan for fiscal year 2006, beginning April 1, 2006 through to March 31, 2007, the JAL Group will continue restructuring its international, domestic and cargo businesses to build a more profit-focused network, aiming to return its international passenger business to profitability in FY2006. 

International Passenger

On international passenger routes, JAL will focus its resources on high profit and high growth routes, while suspending unprofitable routes. An income improvement of 8 billion yen is expected to result from route suspensions, flight frequency adjustments, and a review of aircraft scheduling contained in the FY2006 plan. In FY2006, JAL  will increase the number of flights between Tokyo and Chicago, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Taipei. The airline will suspend its Tokyo - Las Vegas route, daily Osaka - Los Angeles route, and two of its routes linking Seoul to two regional cities in Japan. Flight frequency will be reduced on JALs Tokyo - London and Tokyo - Bangkok routes.

JAL will also continue expanding the international role of its low-overhead subsidiary JALways to secure further cost-competitiveness. JALways will take over flight operations on the Tokyo - Jakarta route from March 26, 2006, and from October 1, 2006 flight operations on Tokyo - Ho Chi Minh, Tokyo - Hanoi, Osaka - Hanoi, and Tokyo - Sydney routes.

JAL will expand the operations of domestic subsidiary JAL Express by the transfer of three MD-81 aircraft to that airline.

Fleet and Equipment Changes

During FY2006, JAL will also accelerate fleet downsizing. In total, six B747 Classic models will be retired from international and domestic service. On domestic routes three A300s will be retired, as well as four YS11 type aircraft.

To improve passenger comfort, increase efficiency and reduce costs, more fuel-efficient, environmental-friendly aircraft will be introduced including medium-sized B777-300ER and B767-300 aircraft on international routes, and B737-800 aircraft on domestic routes.

JALs business class seat, the Shell Flat seat, will be introduced onto more international routes: Tokyo - Amsterdam, Osaka - London, Tokyo - Chicago (all flights) and Tokyo - Singapore (JL719/710). On domestic routes the airline will also expand by 43% the number of class J seats, domestic business class. 

International Cargo

The airline group will expand its cargo business operations by introducing to its fleet two 747-400 freighters (converted from passenger versions). Flights will be increased on all routes, particularly those serving Narita airport: 51 flights per week at the end of FY05 up to 61 flights per week by the end of FY2006. After June 2006, direct services to Europe and the west coast of the USA will be gradually introduced to better respond to market trends and meet customer demand.

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