Today, JAL Group’s last two Boeing 747-400s made their final touchdown at Tokyo (Narita) from Honolulu at 12:52pm and from Okinawa at 13:07pm as JAL’s commercial flights, closing a significant chapter of the airline’s extensive use of the Boeing 747 aircraft spanning four decades.
JAL has been a long-time operator of the 747 and also once the owner of the most number of these four-engine jumbo jets. The first of a total of 112 Boeing 747s that JAL would come to own in the last 41 years, was a 747-100 delivered in 1970. JAL later incorporated other versions of the 747 Classics (-100, -200 and -300 series) into its fleet and finally received the 747-400 – differentiated from its preceding generations by its 2-man flight crew compared to the 3-man crew of the Classics, in 1990.
The Group is downsizing its fleet and operating more small and medium aircraft such as Boeing 767, 777 and soon the highly-anticipated 787 Dreamliner, as well as regional jets like the Embraer 170, to improve efficiency and profitability. With the final landing of the two flights today, JAL has completed the retirement of all of its 747-400 aircraft.
Facts and figures:
Number of crew (flight crew and cabin attendants) and passengers on the last two flights today:
o JL075 from Honolulu – 20 crew and 421 passengers
o JL3098 from Okinawa – 14 crew and 258 passengers
Total number of 747s (including -100, -200, -300) owned from 1970 to 2011 = 112
Total number of 747-400s owned from 1990 to 2011 = 44 (International use = 34, domestic use = 8, freighters = 2)
JAL’s first 747-400 arrived in Tokyo (Narita) on February 14, 1990
Inaugural routes of JAL’s first 747-400 were Tokyo (Narita)-Seoul (Gimpo), Tokyo (Haneda)-Fukuoka and Okinawa (Naha)
A domestic variation 747-400D was delivered to JAL on October 1991 with a seating capacity of 568