Tight Squeeze: JAL’s Budget Carrier to Pack in 9 Across on 787s
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
One of Asia’s best airline’s is lowering its standards. In May, Japan Airlines (JAL) announced it would be launching a budget carrier, and now its executives are planning on making serious cutbacks to passenger comforts for the new airline.
JAL plans on launching the low-cost carrier, temporarily named TBL Co. Ltd., in the summer of 2020 — just in time for the Tokyo Olympic Games. It will use two Boeing 787-8s, likely taken from JAL’s current fleet that contains 29 of the widebody jets.
The Oneworld carrier is one of two airlines that’s configured its aircraft in a less dense 2-4-2 configuration for a total of eight seats across — with some seats measuring 19 inches wide. TPG contributor Katie Genter said JAL’s 787-8 is “hands down the best economy hard product” she’s experienced.
Now, it plans on densifying the economy layout on aircraft for the new airline, turning it into a 3-3-3 configuration with nine seats across. ANA is the only other airline with some 787s laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration, although it’s moving toward a nine-across as well.
JAL VP of global sales Steve Smith said that one of the airline’s primary reasons for starting a low-cost carrier was that its forecasts revealed that 50% of both Asian, European and North American long-haul markets would be taken by low-cost carriers.
“That’s one in every two seats,” Smith said. “We are a high-yield carrier and we are missing out on a big part of the market.”
The budget carrier will operate long- and medium-haul flights to the Americas, Asia and Europe. Following suit, JAL competitor ANA plans on creating Japan’s largest low-cost carrier under the “Peach” brand by March 2020 — merging the current Peach fleet with Vanilla Air’s short-haul fleet of A320s.
The airline also wants to greatly expand its route network, adding more than 150 new cities to increase its current offering from 343 to 500 overall. It plans on doing this mostly through partnerships and joint-ventures with other airlines like American, British Airways, Iberia and Hawaiian. It’s even working on a partnership with the giant SkyTeam carrier China Eastern Airlines.
H/T: Air Transport World
Featured image by Katie Genter / The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees