JAL shakes up domestic offering

The Japan Airlines Group has made its biggest review of domestic passenger operations since 2002 by cutting unprofitable routes and adjusting supply to demand through flight frequency reductions on other routes and by adding more flights on popular routes. The details are included in the airline’s domestic network plan for FY2007 (April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008)which has been announced in Tokyo.
At present the JAL Group has about 165 domestic routes including those operated by subsidiaries. Some 20 routes are included in the review.
The changes planned include the introduction of one new route, an increase in flights on four routes, reductions in flights on five routes and suspension of ten regional domestic routes.
The JAL Group, in preparing for the increase of slots at Narita and Haneda in FY2009, is taking steps to build a business structure that generates stable income. By examining and reviewing the demand and trend of individual and group travelers, JAL feels that the new domestic route and frequency plan improves customer convenience and increases profitability.
Domestic fleet plans for the coming year include the introduction of five 737-800 fuel-efficient aircraft, which will enter service on routes from Haneda. These 165-seat aircraft will have 20 business class style ‘Class J’ seats in a five-abreast configuration - so that customers can enjoy greater comfort. The 145 economy class seats are in a six-abreast arrangement. All eight MD87’s now in the JAL fleet will be retired by March 2008 to increase aircraft competitiveness and further increase revenue.
JAL will introduce for the first time a domestic First Class, on some domestic flights in FY2007; starting with the Haneda-Itami (Osaka) route from December. The new First class will be introduced later on other trunk routes to *censored*uoka and Sapporo.