GEnx Engines Power JAL's Historic 787 Flight

JAL launches first 787 Dreamliner Flight | Tokyo-Boston

History took place on April 22nd as Japan Airlines flew the first non-stop flight between Asia and Boston.  The flight marked a number of firsts, including:

  • JAL’s first revenue flight of the newly delivered 787 Dreamliner;
  • The first revenue-generating flight of the GEnx-1B engine
  • The first non-stop Asia to Boston flight from Tokyo-Narita (NRT) to Boston’s Logan Airport (BOS).

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Japan Airlines flight 008 departed Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT) and arrived at Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) on April 22nd. Upon landing at Boston Logan International, the aircraft received a water cannon salute and the flight was met by JAL Chairman, Masaru Onishi, JAL Senior Vice President for the Americas, Hiroyuki Hioka, and Massport Director of Aviation, Ed Freni.

Just as JAL flight 8 was touching down, passengers on the return flight to Tokyo – JAL 7 – were checking in for the first ever flight to Tokyo from Boston.   Lexington Minutemen wearing traditional uniforms were drumming up excitement for customers taking Japan Airlines flight 7 back to Tokyo-Narita (NRT).

JAL Flight 008 Flight Path per FlightAware | Copyright FlightAware
JAL Flight 008 Flight Path per FlightAware | Copyright FlightAware

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The inaugural flight took 12 hours and 13 minutes covering 7,337 nautical miles at an altitude of 39,000 feet and the flight pulled into gate E4.  The flight back to Tokyo, Japan Airlines Flight 7, took a more northerly route to avoid the headwinds which westbound flights encounter and clocked in at 13 hours and 6 minutes flight time.

Japan Airlines operates out of the International “E” Terminal at Boston’s Logan Airport.

JAL President Yoshiharu Ueki was at the departure gate ceremony for JAL008 in Narita to celebrate this landmark event for JAL, Boeing, and Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport).  Ueki said, “By deploying the 787 Dreamliner on long-haul routes to markets that can garner substantial travel demand such as Boston, JAL is making best use of the aircraft’s long-range capability, appropriate capacity, and its economic performance.”

Ueki added, “We are very happy to have such strong support from the Boston community, Massport, Boeing, and joint business partner American Airlines, to establish this direct link between Boston and Tokyo never-before available.”

Ryo Ogawa, Vice President and Captain of the Flight Crew 787 for Japan Airlines, said, “JAL’s GEnx-powered Boeing 787 Dreamliners can take more passengers in comfort directly to their destination…..The B787 and the GEnx engines are a perfect fit, balancing each other out beautifully. I’ve flown the B777, the B747-400 and the B737-400, and they’ve all had GE engines. JAL pilots, me included, have a lot of respect for GE aircraft engines.”

The flight is expected to be successful as each year over 400,000 passengers fly between Boston and Asia; some end their trip in Tokyo while others fly to China, Southeast Asia, or India.  The new non-stop link to Tokyo will provide passengers traveling to and from Boston with more options to Asia.

Boeing Japan president Mike Denton, who was on the flight, remarked, “We are honored to see the 787 Dreamliner begin its first commercial service to the U.S. with the launch of JAL’s Tokyo to Boston route.”  Denton added, “The 787 brings new levels of flexibility to airlines in their network development, and this is exactly the kind of long-haul point-to-point route the 787 was designed to fly. Congratulations to JAL and all their passengers participating in this exciting, pioneering flight.”

JAL’s 787 is fitted with 42 seats in Business and 144 in Economy Class (click for article with seat pictures).  Japan Airlines will also fly the 787 Dreamliner to Helsinki and San Diego (click for article) and has plans for many other routes as additional aircraft are delivered.

 

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