Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL) (日本航空株式会社, (Nihon Kōkū Kabushiki-gaisha), also known as Nikkō (日航), is Japan’s flag carrier, headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo. Its main hubs are Tokyo’s Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport), as well as Osaka’s Kansai International Airport and Osaka International Airport. JAL group companies include Japan Airlines, J-Air, JAL Express, Japan Air Commuter, Japan Transocean Air, ZIPAIR Tokyo and Ryukyu Air Commuter for domestic feeder services, and JAL Cargo for cargo and mail services were first established in 1951 and became the national airline of Japan in 1953. After over three decades of service and expansion, the airline was fully privatised in 1987 and in 2002, the airline merged with Japan Air System, Japan’s third-largest airline and became the sixth-largest airline in the world by passengers carried. Japan Airlines is currently an official sponsor of Japan Football Association, Japan national football team, Shimizu S-Pulse, and Consadole Sapporo. All Nippon Airways, the largest airline in Japan, is JAL’s main competitor.
Japan Airlines & Oneworld Alliance!
JAL first joined ventures with the Oneword alliance back in 2005, and since partnered up with major airlines across the industry who have given themselves a name to recognize such as, American Airlines, Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways to name a few. Between September 2009 and February 2010, JAL was seriously considering accepting a strategic investment from Delta Air Lines and joining the SkyTeam alliance after them ultimately exited bankruptcy while they still remained in the Oneworld alliance. American planned to team up with Oneworld alliance members British Airways and Qantas to make a joint offer to recapitalise JAL.
JAL eventually emerged from bankruptcy protection in March 2011 and following its exit from bankruptcy protection, JAL began several new partnerships within the Oneworld alliance. The transpacific joint venture between JAL and American commenced in April 2011. JAL formed Jetstar Japan, a low-cost carrier joint venture with Qantas subsidiary Jetstar Airways, in July. In 2012, JAL and British Airways parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) submitted applications to the Japanese government and European Union respectively in seeking a joint venture business operation for flights between Japan and Europe.
JAL’s Worldwide Route Network!
Despite Japan Airlines’ troubled past and tremendous up-start in the 1950s, to people back then, in the dawn of the jet age, a modern airline with a class-leading service in mind, the modern-day JAL we know today, have come a long way.
JAL alone, as of April 2020 serves a staggering 60 domestic destinations and 39 international destinations across major world continents as, Asia, the Americas, Europe and Oceania, all this excluding codeshare agreements. It is estimated that JAL does over 4,500 international flights and 26,000 monthly, from their main hubs of Tokyo’s Narita International Airport and Tokyo Haneda, Kansai International Airport and Itami Airport. The JAL group including codeshares has operations that account for scheduled and unscheduled international and domestic passenger and cargo services to 220 destinations in 35 countries worldwide. The group has a fleet of 279 aircraft combined total and in the fiscal year ended 31 March 2009, the airline group carried over 52 million passengers and over 1.1 million tons of cargo and mail. Japan Airlines, J-Air, JAL Express, and Japan Transocean Air are members of the Oneworld airline alliance network. And these numbers are expected to grow with modern jets entering the fleet, JAL welcomed their first set of A350-900 in 2019 with more to be delivered in the coming years to follow.
For decades JAL has during its time in operation, featured various “Special Liveries”, such as, Tokyo DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland since JAL is the official Tokyo Disney Resort airline. Japan Airlines has also worn the EcoJet livery on their 777-200ER and 777-300ER but has since removed these liveries as the aircraft got retired. In March 2020, A734J (another JAL 777-300ER), received the EcoJet livery to continue the longevity of the livery.
In more recent time, JAL presented a special livery due to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, (which unfortunately got cancelled because of the SARS-CoV-2, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic)). The aircraft JA773J (a Boeing 777-200), and JA601J (a Boeing 767-300ER), received the “Tokyo 2020, Fly For it!” Livery featuring the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Mascots on the fuselage.
Special Liveries aside, during the decades of promotional events, rapid expansions of service in the aviation industry, and outside, and growth as a company itself, JAL has gotten themselves a reputation of having clean cabins, being extremely punctual and having service competing on an international level, among the major carriers.
JAL has also been rated as one of the world’s top 20 airlines by Skytrax for the 4th year in a row, where they have over the years passed, climbed up to 11th place in 2019, only trailing 8 places behind its main competitor, ANA, who’s held a steady grip at number 3 for 2019’s ranking. Japan Airlines has, on the other hand, made themselves a staple for cleanliness and punctuality, where JAL has been placed 2nd in the whole world for having the cleanest cabins, behind the Taiwanese carrier EVA and in 3rd place for punctuality at an average rate of 83.99%, according to the Telegraph.
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