Japan Airlines Co. (9205)’s first Boeing Co. (BA:US) 787 landed at Tokyo’s Narita airport today, ending more than three years of delays for the second Dreamliner operator.
“Taking delivery of the 787 was like meeting the love of a lifetime,” President Yoshiharu Ueki, a former pilot, told reporters after the plane landed at 5:58 p.m. today. The carrier officially received two 787s from Boeing earlier this week.
JAL will begin flights to Boston with the 787 on April 22 as its takes advantage of the plane’s fuel efficiency to serve destinations that would be unprofitable with larger aircraft. The carrier, which has ordered 45 Dreamliners, also plans to start serving San Diego and Helsinki, as well as using the planes on flights to Beijing, Singapore, New Delhi and Moscow.
All Nippon Airways Co., JAL’s biggest competitor, became the first carrier to fly the 787 commercially last year. The Tokyo-based carrier received its first plane in September, following years of delays caused by Boeing’s struggles with new production techniques and the use of new materials, including a fuselage made from composites.
JAL has said the 787s will help it meet a goal of saving 50 billion yen ($603 million) in costs over the next five years, because of the planes’ lower fuel usage. The carrier was due to begin receiving its 787s in 2008, according to a 2004 press release.
JAL is the first operator to have 787s fitted with General Electric Co. engines. ANA’s planes have Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc powerplants.
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