JAL is switching from Boeing 777s to Airbus A350s as its flagship aircraft.

JAL is switching from Boeing 777s to Airbus A350s as its flagship aircraft.

In the coming years, Japan Airlines' (JAL) fleet will undergo a significant transformation. While the Japanese flag carrier currently considers the Boeing 777 to be its flagship aircraft, by the middle of the decade, it will turn its attention to the Airbus A350. As a result of this move, it stands to benefit from improved fuel efficiency.

Photo From jal.co.jp


Japan Airlines is renewing its flagship fleet as part of its "Medium-Term Management Plan." The Boeing 777 family of aircraft is currently in use, with the larger 777-300ER being deployed globally. Meanwhile, JAL has used widebodies like the 777-200 on internal flights in Japan's high-demand domestic market. The airline, on the other hand, has announced that the time has come to turn to the Airbus A350 XWB family for its flagship. The increased efficiency of this next-generation widebody series, which will help JAL cut operating costs, was a major factor in this decision. Indeed, the airline claims that the A350's increased fuel efficiency over the 777 is around 25%.

Customers would also prefer the A350's cabin, according to JAL. Every seat on the XWB has a personal entertainment screen and AC power, even on domestic routes. Overall, JAL's fleet of 777s will shrink from 39 in the 2019 fiscal year to just 13 by 2023.

Following JAL's recent decision to retire its Pratt & Whitney-powered triple-sevens, the remaining triple-sevens will be powered by General Electric engines. Meanwhile, the airline's A350 fleet will grow from five aircraft in 2019 to 18 by 2023.

This figure reflects just over half of the 31 A350s JAL received in June 2019 (18 -900s and 13 -1000s). The smaller A350-900 will serve as the airline's domestic flagship, while the larger A350-1000 will serve as the carrier's international flagship.

Despite plans to increase the number of A350s in JAL's fleet, the airline's total fleet would be lower than before the pandemic. This is largely due to the fact that, as we have seen, it is withdrawing more 777s than it is putting in. Its overall fleet size will decrease from 241 aircraft in 2019 to 229 aircraft in 2020. (2023).

As previously mentioned, 777s will be the primary victims of this cut. As a result, JAL's fleet composition would be affected in terms of the ratios of different-sized aircraft it operates. The airline says it would “reduce the ratio of [the] large-sized fleet from 18% (FY2019) to 14 percent (FY2023).” This division includes the A350 and 777, with JAL's other widebodies (Boeing 767 and 787) being classified as medium-sized.

As it turns out, JAL isn't the only oneworld member airline considering the A350 as a potential flagship plane. Indeed, British Airways, the UK's flag carrier and a oneworld founding member, may be considering Airbus' next-generation twinjet for this role.

The A350 was featured in the Heathrow-based airline's latest television commercial, titled "You Make Us Fly," which sparked speculation. Since BA no longer operates the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A380's future is unclear, the A350 has emerged as a competitor.
Overall, a carrier's flagship aircraft type serves a valuable and fascinating function in enhancing the carrier's public image. This occurs on a local and international scale, and JAL will soon do so with the A350. Of course, because of Japan's exceptionally busy domestic network, it will be served regionally as well as on its lucrative intercontinental routes.

Planeinfo © 2021