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Wednesday, 15th February 2012
In Japan Travel News,

Japan Airlines expansion takes off with Boeing order

Japan Airlines (JAL) is to order ten new Boeing 787 Dreamliners as it looks to expand its international services after receiving funding from the state.

In a statement released today (February 15th), the airline also revealed plans to convert ten of the 787-8 models already ordered into the bigger 787-9 version, Bloomberg reported.

It had initially planned to launch its first Dreamliner three years ago but problems with materials and manufacturing at the American aerospace company meant deliveries of the aeroplanes was put on hold.

Upgrading its aircrafts in the five years beginning April 1st will cost the airline some 478 billion yen (£3.9 billion), but it is thought that the state-of-the-art fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliners will allow JAL to make 50 billion yen (£406 million) in cost savings.
"We're optimistic about considering a joint-venture," president of JAL Yoshiharu Ueki said.

As part of the company's expansion plans it also announced a new non-stop flight between Narita International Airport, Tokyo and San Diego in the US will commence in December this year in addition to the route between Tokyo and Boston that has its inaugural flight on April 22nd.

Meanwhile, the company is considering launching a joint venture with Finnish carrier Finnair, having announced earlier in February that it had submitted proposals to begin a venture with British Airways.

In March next year, JAL will begin its first new European route in 20 years when it begins flights from Narita to Helsinki, the capital of Finland.

The 787-8 Dreamliner will make four weekly flights between the two capitals, making Helsinki a major European terminal for travellers between Europe and Japan.

"On top of being able to offer customers new convenience, we expect these routes to yield solid revenues with the use of the Dreamliner," Mr Ueki said.

"By strategically strengthening our network, JAL can better support our customers' travel needs and contribute to a deeply valuable economic and cultural bond between the countries."

Written by Kimberley Homer

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