Japan Airlines to launch nonstop service between Tokyo and Boston in 2012

Japan Airlines to launch nonstop service between Tokyo and Boston in 2012

Japan Airlines has announced that it will launch a brand new route between Tokyo’s Narita International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport starting 22 April 2012. The airline also announced its plans to operate the highly-anticipated Boeing 787-8 configured with business and economy class cabins on this route, making Boston the first destination named by JAL to utilize the Dreamliner.

JAL will become the only carrier to directly link Asia and Boston, one of the largest U.S. metropolitan cities, with nonstop service that will be available four times a week initially and later increased to once daily from June 1, 2012. This route will facilitate travel to and from cities throughout the New England region as well as add greater convenience for business and leisure travelers connecting to and from key Asian cities through JAL’s extensive international network at Narita.

American Airlines (American) will also codeshare on this flight. JAL and American entered into a joint business agreement last month and began jointly offering customers greater benefits and travel options over the Pacific. The oneworld(r) Alliance partners now coordinate sales efforts on flights between Japan, Asia and North America, which will include and significantly support the viability of the new Tokyo=Boston route. Reservations and ticket sales will be available through both airlines. Customers can make bookings at JAL beginning May 28, 2011 (10am JST/ May 27, 9pm EST) and at American from the middle of June this year via their respective websites and call centers (see end of release).

In addition to its relationship with American, JAL has also begun discussions to strengthen its U.S. network structure with JetBlue Airways, utilizing the carrier’s hub operations in Boston to provide customers more options and smoother connections to and from major destinations in the East Coast.

“I am pleased to announce the addition of Boston to our international network - our first new gateway in North America in 13 years,” said Masaru Onishi, President of Japan Airlines. “By making full use of the efficiencies of the revolutionary 787 as well as capitalizing on our closer relationship with American Airlines, we are confident this new route will prove to be another valuable link for commercial and cultural exchanges between both regions, and more significantly, the onset of JAL’s growth strategies going forward.”

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“This new flight further demonstrates the benefits of our joint business agreement and will strengthen our relationship with Japan Airlines even more,” said Tom Horton, President - American Airlines.  “The Boston=Narita service is one of the many new customer benefits of our increased cooperation between North America and Asia with our long-standing and valued partner.”

“I am thrilled that Japan Airlines has agreed to begin nonstop service between Tokyo and Boston, and I applaud them for choosing Massachusetts as a destination,” said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. “I also want to commend Massport for their efforts to make this a reality. Our counterparts in Tokyo understand the value of a direct flight that will connect them to our growing health care, biotechnology, telecommunications, and advance technologies industries, and to our prestigious colleges and research universities. This is an invaluable economic partnership for the Commonwealth, and we look forward to the increased tourism, commerce, and economic development with Japan that it will bring.”

“This new service will connect New England and Asia as never before,” said Thomas J. Kinton Jr., Massport’s CEO Executive Director. “Asia is a priority for Governor Patrick’s administration to further enhance the economic competitiveness of the Commonwealth and nonstop flights to Asia are the number one service target among the Boston-area’s business, academic and tourism communities. We are thrilled with the route and thankful that the work of our Asia Task Force with Boston business leaders helped clinch the deal.”

Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States boasting a rich history. It is the capital and largest city of Massachusetts and a center for higher education, economics, bio-tech research and culture on the East Coast. Boston will become the fifth continental U.S. gateway served by JAL on top of the airline’s current daily operations between Tokyo and New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.