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Japan Airlines expands fleet with major Boeing and Airbus orders

Japan Airlines announces a strategic acquisition of 42 Boeing and Airbus jets to enhance international operations, diversifying its fleet amid Boeing’s challenges and aiming for global market growth.

Japan Airlines has announced its plan to acquire 42 new jets from Boeing and Airbus, marking a significant expansion of its international fleet. In this strategic move, the majority of the orders, valued at several billion dollars, will be placed with Airbus, the European aerospace corporation.

The order comprises 21 Airbus A350-900 and 10 Boeing 787 wide-body aircraft, according to a recent statement from the Tokyo-based carrier. Notably, the airline will diversify its single-aisle fleet by incorporating 11 Airbus A321neo aircraft, ending Boeing’s exclusive dominance as the airline’s sole provider of narrow-body jets. This decision comes amidst Boeing’s ongoing challenges with production and quality control, highlighted by an incident on January 5 involving an Alaska Airlines 737 Max jet.

This fleet expansion is timely, coinciding with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s forthcoming official visit to the United States. Kishida’s discussions with U.S. President Joe Biden will likely emphasize the strength of bilateral trade and business relations, especially significant in the context of the upcoming U.S. election and potential policy shifts.

The procurement is strategically aligned with Japan Airlines’ objectives to bolster its international service capabilities, particularly targeting growth markets in North America, Asia, and India. These aircraft are scheduled for delivery over six years, starting in fiscal 2027, signalling a long-term commitment to enhancing operational capacity and service quality.

This acquisition marks the culmination of Japan Airlines’ efforts to modernize its fleet by replacing approximately 50 older aircraft, including Boeing 767s and 737s. Additionally, the airline is addressing the replacement needs for an A350 that was irreparably damaged in a recent accident at Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport. The incident has notably impacted the airline’s operations, as disclosed by Chief Financial Officer Yuji Saito, with anticipated revenue losses of approximately ¥2 billion ($13.6 million) due to the disruption.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.