Japan Airlines Airbus A350-1000 Routes & Flights

Japan Airlines Airbus A350-1000 Routes & Flights

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Japan Airlines is in the process of refreshing its long haul fleet, as the oneworld airline is gradually replacing its Boeing 777-300ERs with Airbus A350-1000s. Not only is the A350 a joy to fly in general, but these planes are particularly exciting, given that they feature an all-new passenger experience.

The A350-1000 is already in service on its first route. Now the airline has revealed the next few flights that will get this plane. While we don’t have an exact timeline, there’s an easy way to tell what Japan Airlines may be thinking, so let’s go over the details.

Let me emphasize that these A350-1000s are separate from the company’s A350-900s, which are exclusively used for domestic flights (and which have been in the news quite a bit).

Japan Airlines’ A350-1000 fleet progress

Japan Airlines has so far taken delivery of two Airbus A350-1000s, out of the 13 that the airline has on order:

  • The first A350-1000 has the registration code JA01WJ, and operated its delivery flight from Toulouse (TLS) to Tokyo (HND) on December 14, 2023
  • The second A350-1000 has the registration code JA02WJ, and operated its delivery flight on January 13, 2024

Japan Arlines is taking delivery of these jets progressively, and all 13 A350-1000s aren’t expected to join the oneworld carrier’s fleet until 2028, at which point the Boeing 777-300ERs will be retired. We don’t have an exact schedule for what deliveries will look like, but it’s expected that additional planes will join Japan Airlines’ fleet in 2024.

Japan Airlines has 13 Airbus A350-1000s on order

Japan Airlines’ current A350-1000 routes & flights

Japan Airlines is now flying the Airbus A350-1000 daily between Tokyo (HND) and New York (JFK). The airline operates two daily frequencies in the market, and the following frequency is the one to currently features this special jet:

JL6 Tokyo to New York departing 11:05AM arriving 10:50AM
JL5 New York to Tokyo departing 1:45PM arriving 5:15PM (+1 day)

Japan Airlines’ new A350 first class

Japan Airlines’ future A350-1000 routes & flights

Japan Airlines plans to next fly the Airbus A350-1000 on the following flights:

  • Japan Airlines’ second A350-1000 route will be between Tokyo (HND) and Dallas (DFW), for frequencies JL11/12
  • Japan Airlines’ third A350-1000 route will be the second daily flight between Tokyo (HND) and New York (JFK), for frequencies JL3/4
  • Japan Airlines’ fourth A350-1000 route will be between Tokyo (HDN) and London (LHR), for frequencies JL43/44

Japan Airlines has announced no A350-1000 launch dates for the above route, though the airline states that all of the above routes should start to see the A350-1000 during the fiscal year 2024, which runs through March 31, 2025.

Fortunately there is a way we can guess what Japan Airlines is thinking in terms of timing, and it’s the same way we were able to estimate when Japan Airlines launched its first A350 route (and that allowed me to speculatively book a ticket).

Specifically, when Japan Airlines transitions from the 777-300ER to the A350-1000, the airline goes from eight first class seats to six first class seats. So even ahead of formally changing the plane on a particular route, Japan Airlines seems to tentatively start restricting first class inventory to six seats, so that it doesn’t oversell the cabin.

Well, Japan Airlines has started restricting first class availability on all of the above routes, as of the following dates:

  • As of April 1, 2024, Japan Airlines is only selling up to six first class seats on the DFW flight
  • As of May 1, 2024, Japan Airlines is only selling up to six first class seats on the second daily JFK flight
  • As of October 1, 2024, Japan Airlines is only selling up to six first class seats on the LHR flight

Let me emphasize that there’s absolutely no guarantee that the airline will launch service in the above markets as of those dates. However, that timeline reflects what Japan Airlines clearly thinks is the earliest possible date on each of the above routes where we’ll see the new plane.

Now, I continue to think that the above timeline seems way too aggressive, and I can’t imagine all of the above frequencies would see the A350-1000 daily in that timeframe. That would require an absolute minimum of six frames, and possibly even seven or eight, depending on scheduling and spare aircraft.

I don’t believe Japan Airlines intends to take delivery of that many A350s so quickly, so only time will tell. However, as of now it’s the best guess that we have. If you want to redeem miles for this experience, see my guide to doing so.

Japan Airlines’ new A350 business class

It’s interesting what markets aren’t getting the plane

One thing I can’t help but point out is how noteworthy it is that both Los Angeles and San Francisco aren’t among the first several routes to get the A350-1000. That’s despite the fact that these are among the carrier’s shortest long haul routes, and the airline could even operate a daily roundtrip flight to San Francisco with one frame.

People often assume that Los Angeles and San Francisco are lucrative markets across the Pacific, because of tech and Hollywood. However, these are also very competitive markets, and yields across the Pacific from those airports can be tough. Japan Airlines hasn’t even consistently been offering first class to the West Coast in recent months.

Japan Airlines’ new A350 tail camera

Bottom line

Japan Airlines has put its Airbus A350-1000 into commercial service. The aircraft is initially flying daily between Tokyo and New York. The next destination to get the plane will be Dallas. Then after that, we can expect the second daily frequency to New York, followed by the London flight, to be the next routes to get the plane.

Officially we know that the goal is for these routes to get the A350-1000 by the end of the fiscal year 2024, but it seems like we may even see the A350 on some of these routes in the coming months.

What do you make of Japan Airlines’ Airbus A350-1000 routes?

Conversations (23)
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  1. Joe Jones Guest

    Last time I checked, the only F service being offered between LAX and Tokyo nowadays is the SQ LAX-NRT flight, which is obviously not that attractive for local traffic because you have to trek out to NRT.

  2. Aaron Guest

    JAL has just sent an email saying the LHR-HND route will only begin in “the next fiscal year.”

    Think a quiet pushback has taken place here.

  3. Jason Guest

    Thank you! Used seats.aero (which I learned about here) to scan DFW-HND (F) availability and quickly made a speculative booking for late April DFW-HND on AA for 80,000 points. We'll see if they announce new (F) seats on that route by then.

  4. Aaron Guest

    JAL First booked (using 90K AA points) on the LHR - HND route for 9 Dec...Here is to hoping the timeline comes off!

  5. Andrew Diamond

    Frustrating that this is going to Dallas, but I'm just going to remind myself this is really for Toyota execs. :)

  6. A_Japanese Gold

    In their mid-term plan update in 2023, JAL plans to take 9 a350-1000 by the end of FY2025. I don’t see any further update to their plan yet.

    I bet they would deploy a350-1000 to HND-CDG in FY 2025, as a JAL representative told me so.

  7. gideyup11 Member

    A friend of mine flies DFW-TYO-DFW monthly for business (he's very familiar with JAL/AA Business Class on this route LOL). He thinks why DFW-HND is getting the new A350-1000 before LAX/SFO/ORD is because Toyota has major operations in Dallas area, and now many Japanese auto suppliers also moved to Dallas area. Therefore, on most DFW flights he's on, >90% are Japanese business people probably paying top dollar (similar to my friend). LAX/SFO/ORD cannot compete with...

    A friend of mine flies DFW-TYO-DFW monthly for business (he's very familiar with JAL/AA Business Class on this route LOL). He thinks why DFW-HND is getting the new A350-1000 before LAX/SFO/ORD is because Toyota has major operations in Dallas area, and now many Japanese auto suppliers also moved to Dallas area. Therefore, on most DFW flights he's on, >90% are Japanese business people probably paying top dollar (similar to my friend). LAX/SFO/ORD cannot compete with that amount of paid Business Class cabin! JAL knows what they're doing IMO...

  8. Felix Guest

    Does anyone know how long the bed is in the new First class?

    I had the chance to try the old First class on HND-HKG a couple of days ago. I would guess 2m based on my size of 2,05m. A bit shorter than the QR F which is arouns 2,05m

    1. Moo Guest

      Seating configuration : 1-1-1 (3-seats per row layout)
      Capacity : 6 seats
      Seat width (distance between armrests) : approximately 123 cm
      Max. bed width : approximately 123 cm
      Max. bed length : approximately 203 cm
      Personal monitor size : 43 inch
      Height of room : approximately 157 cm

  9. Duo L Guest

    JL only has 1 daily flight to DFW (I think it used to have 2 daily), but 2 daily flights to SFO and LAX each. I think it's about adding capacity to DFW.

  10. yepnope Guest

    Forget the new a350, I’d be thrilled if the sfo routes would get the 777 instead of the 787

    1. Andrew Diamond

      Unpopular opinion: I'm not fond of the 777s in business class - those 2-3-2 configurations remind me of the worst-of-the-skies BA A380 business class.

  11. Terence Guest

    Alternatively, on the longest flights, 351 will deliver more fuel savings over a shorter long haul? Just questioning the market properties, but wondering if there are other factors at play here.

    1. BenjaminKohl Diamond

      That's what I was thinking

  12. John Guest

    Yes. Tech and Hollywood but also people connecting?

  13. A_Japanese Gold

    In these days, JAL deploys 777-300ER to Singapore and Bangkok from Haneda, and also selected domestic flights instead of flying them to SFO, LAX and ORD. Even SYD will get 777-300ER in southern winter - low season for Aussie-Japan traffic.

    Interesting, but hard to guess their motives behind their plan.

    1. JK Guest

      The loads in business class seem to be doing very well HND-SYD. It's often sold out for many consecutive days which surprised me. They put the 777 on the route a few years back so this is a return. I wonder how F will do, certainly a lot of Qantas FF very happy to have a non-stop option to Tokyo in first class if they can snag an award redemption. 12k AUD rtn is a lot, but no doubt will be popular.

    2. A_Japanese Gold

      HND-SYD is popular route in southern summer and JAL put 777 occasionally in the past but this is the first time I see 777 deployed in southern winter. For F, I see the article that you can snag F award for 120000 QF miles for HND-SYD - which would be quite good for frequent QF flyer as J award requires 82k to 90k miles.

    3. Mike C Diamond

      I've also noted consistently competitive JL J class fares SYD-HND-JFK, and on the random mid-year date I checked today it was less than 50% above the SYD-HND fare. Beats QF J. I don't pretend to understand the detailed economics for JL, but selling those seats could be a factor in up-gauging SYD-HND.

  14. Willem Guest

    Interesting to see Dallas’ priority here. It was never a JAL First destination before the pandemic

    What’s your thoughts on O’Hare also being excluded? It regularly sees JAL First (moreso than SFO/LAX even)

    1. Jef Guest

      Toyota North America has now fully transitioned its headquarters to a Dallas suburb.

    2. brandon Guest

      Bingo. Biggest reason why JAL restarted service there a few years ago.

  15. Lune Diamond

    JFK is a pretty brutal market too, with lots of competition. I think it points to the fact that the finance industry is a bigger customer for the Tokyo-NYC segment than anything else (also why London would be one of the early ones too)

    Truth is that there isn't much tech traffic to Tokyo. Lots to India and China but not really that much to Japan. And same with Hollywood: lots of productions in Europe,...

    JFK is a pretty brutal market too, with lots of competition. I think it points to the fact that the finance industry is a bigger customer for the Tokyo-NYC segment than anything else (also why London would be one of the early ones too)

    Truth is that there isn't much tech traffic to Tokyo. Lots to India and China but not really that much to Japan. And same with Hollywood: lots of productions in Europe, and large theater markets in China but not really that much of either in Japan.

    If I had to guess, I'd say the biggest industrial ties are probably finance and old school manufacturers (auto, heavy industry, machine tools, etc) not tech and Hollywood.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Terence Guest

Alternatively, on the longest flights, 351 will deliver more fuel savings over a shorter long haul? Just questioning the market properties, but wondering if there are other factors at play here.

2
Joe Jones Guest

Last time I checked, the only F service being offered between LAX and Tokyo nowadays is the SQ LAX-NRT flight, which is obviously not that attractive for local traffic because you have to trek out to NRT.

0
Aaron Guest

JAL has just sent an email saying the LHR-HND route will only begin in “the next fiscal year.” Think a quiet pushback has taken place here.

0
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