DALLAS – Tokyo-based Japan Airlines (JL) has placed a firm order for 21 Boeing 737-8 jetliners. The US planemaker today confirmed that the deal would enable Japan’s first international carrier to strengthen its short-haul network, including domestic and regional destinations.
As of March 2022, JL has a fleet of 227 aircraft, including 64 Boeing 737-800s, which it intends to replace with the new, more efficient Boeing 737-8. JL owns 47 Boeing 737s, and 17 are taken on lease.
The Boeing 737 MAX family has four variants. JL has chosen the 737-8, which in a two-class configuration can carry between 162-178 passengers while its sub-variant can occupy a maximum of 210 passengers. It remains to be seen what configuration the Japanese flag carrier will use for the new jets.
JL’s order follows a deal by rival All Nippon Airways (NH) at last year’s Farnborough Air Show for 20 737-8s, with ten options. In January, low-cost carrier Skymark Airlines (BC) also ordered a pair of 737-8s and two 737-10s for delivery from 2026. More than 50 global carriers operate over 900 Boeing 737 MAX jets today.
The President of JL, Yuji Akasaka, added his remark on this deal and said, “We are delighted to select the Boeing 737-8, a member of the very latest 737 MAX family, to replace our Boeing 737-800s, which make up the largest proportion of the JAL Group’s fleet.
“We look forward to carrying our passengers in the utmost safety and comfort and moving closer to our 2050 carbon-neutral goals, thanks to a combination of these super-efficient aircraft, operational innovations, and new fuel-saving technologies.”
Meanwhile, Stan Deal, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes stated, “The integration of the new 737 MAX will provide JAL with greater efficiency across its short-haul network as the airline continues to upgrade its world-class fleet.
“Partnering with JAL to introduce 737-8s into its operations is the latest milestone in our longstanding relationship.”
The 71-year-old airline is expected to receive new jets by 2026.
Feature Image: Japan Airlines JA338J Boeing 737-800. Photo: Misael Ocasio Hernandez/Airways