Japan Airlines adds new Tokyo Narita-San Francisco flight

Nov 1, 2019

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Japan Airlines is adding nonstop service to San Francisco from Tokyo Narita, a route that will complement its existing service from Tokyo Haneda.

The new flight between Narita (NRT) and San Francisco (SFO) begins March 29, about four months before the 2020 Summer Olympics kick off in Tokyo. JAL will offer one daily round-trip flight on Boeing 787-8 aircraft, though JAL had not yet confirmed which of its several configurations of the plane will be flying the new route.

JAL flies its current route between SFO and Haneda (HND) with Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Tickets for JAL’s NRT-SFO service will become available for booking on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Narita and Haneda — Tokyo’s two main airports — fill different roles for the city. Haneda is much closer to downtown — about 10 miles — and is generally preferred by those traveling to or from Tokyo itself. Narita is about 40 miles from central Tokyo, with transit times frequently topping an hour for those headed into the city.

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JAL and Japanese rival All Nippon Airways (ANA) each offer connections via Haneda, though they focus more on domestic and regional destinations. Narita has historically been the main international hub for Tokyo, though Haneda has recently gained a number of new routes to North America. Still, passengers connecting to long-haul flights from Tokyo may see options via Narita.

The Narita flight, JAL says, will offer “smooth connections for business and leisure customers seeking to travel throughout Asia.”

In addition to the new SFO-Tokyo route, JAL also is beefing up its schedule to the U.S. territory of Guam. The airline will add a second daily flight between Narita and Guam. Both fights will be on Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.

Related: Tokyo Narita vs. Haneda: Which airport should I fly into?

JAL is a Oneworld frequent-flyer alliance and joint-venture partner of American Airlines. Customers of each airline can earn and redeem miles on flights on the other.

American Airlines customers can also book award flights on JAL via American’s own website, with first-class “saver” tickets for JAL flights beginning at 80,000 miles each way.

JAL also is a frequent-flyer partner of Alaska Airlines, offering mileage earning and burning options for members of Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan program.

Featured photo by Christoph Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty Images.

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