Aviation News

April 23, 2012

Japan Airlines Boston Arrival Marks First Boeing 787 Dreamliner Flight to United States

Japan Airlines Flight 007 pushes back from Boston's Terminal E for departure to Tokyo. (Photo by Bill Vogt/NYCAviation)

Japan Airlines pushed its Boeing 787 Dreamliner into revenue service for the first time on Sunday, christening it with a groundbreaking new route linking Tokyo to Boston.

Despite low ceilings and a gloomy forecast, JAL Flight 8, operated on the airline’s first-delivered 787 (JA822J), touched down at Boston Logan International Airport about 15 minutes ahead of its 11:30 am scheduled arrival.

A traditional water cannon salute from one of the airport’s fire trucks greeted the new jet as it taxied to Terminal E. At Gate E4, a welcome ceremony awaited, attended by several local dignitaries and Japan Airlines executives.

Sunday’s 6,072 mile, 13-1/2 hour flight set at least 10 milestones:

  1. First 787-operated airline flight to the United States
  2. First 787 revenue flight for Japan Airlines
  3. First transpacific revenue flight by a Boeing 787
  4. Longest scheduled 787 route
  5. First revenue flight of a 787 powered by General Electric GEnX engines
  6. First revenue flight of any GEnX-powered passenger aircraft
  7. First nonstop flight between Boston and Asia
  8. First time a 787 has been used to launch a new route
  9. First new international carrier to serve Boston in three years
  10. First route to take advantage of Logan’s International Incentive Program, in which carriers flying to Asia, South America or Africa can receive landing credits and advertising support from the airport.

Japan Airlines said both the inbound and outbound flights were sold out, and bookings for the next several months were “excellent.” The airline is seeking to capitalize on the 400,000 travelers who fly between Boston and Asia every year, who until now have been forced to connect through other cities in the US or elsewhere.

At a ceremony in Tokyo prior to the first flight’s departure, JAL President Yoshiharu Ueki explained the benefits of the new aircraft: “By deploying the 787 Dreamliner on long-haul routes to markets that can garner substantial travel demand such as Boston, JAL is making the best use of the aircraft’s long-range capabilities, appropriate capacity, and its economic performance.”

The new service will operate four times weekly, on Dreamliners fitted with 186 seats: 42 in Business Class and 144 in Economy. Frequency increases to daily on June 1, by which time JAL will have received additional 787s. So far two of the airline’s 25 Dreamliners have been delivered.

Posters proclaim the milestone flight. (Photo by Bill Vogt/NYCAviation)

Posters proclaim the milestone flight. (Photo by Bill Vogt/NYCAviation)
Picture 2 of 18

About the Author




Super Jumbo History at Boston Logan

We go to Boston where Emirates operated the first ever A380 revenue flight at Logan International Airport.
by Michael Lothrop


Qantas Swings Back Into Profit After An Aggressive Restructuring

After a number of dark years for the airline's finances, things are finally starting to look up for Qantas as they have begun to return to profitability.
by Zina Aziz



American Airlines Launches First Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

After a water cannon salute at 7:30 AM, the new jet with its quiet engines spooled up and we rocketed out of Dallas-Ft. Worth on our way to Chicago.
by Justin Cederholm


Today in Aviation History: December 15th

In a near disaster, KLM Flight 867 loses all engines temporarily after flying through a cloud of volcanic ash, McDonnell Douglas and Boeing merge, the Boeing 787 makes its first flight, and more..
by NYCAviation Staff


EXCLUSIVE: On the Flight Deck with 787 Test Pilot Heather Ross

NYCAviation goes behind the scenes to learn how a Boeing head test pilot views the success of the 787, pivotal moments during testing, and more.
by Brandon Farris