Sky Talk

Japan Airlines increases its DFW-Tokyo route to daily service

Japan Airlines will increase its new service between Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and Tokyo’s Narita Airport to daily flights in March, the Japanese carrier announced as it restarted flights at DFW.

The airline’s inaugural flight left DFW at 12:27 p.m. Monday. JAL is using a Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner on the route, which has 161 seats and includes the airline’s “sky suite” in business class.

“With the additional daily flights, JAL’s network to Japan from the United States and Canada will increase to 9 routes and 14 daily flights,” said JAL Chairman Masaru Onishi, who celebrated the inauguration of the new DFW service with Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings on Monday.

The flights depart DFW around 11:45 a.m. and arrive in Tokyo at 4:25 p.m. the next day. The return flights leave Tokyo at 10:55 a.m. and arrive at DFW at 7:20 a.m. the same day.

With the addition of the JAL service, Tokyo is now the second-largest international destination from DFW behind only London Heathrow, said the airport’s chief executive officer Sean Donohue.

He noted that it’s unusual for a foreign carrier to increase to daily service so quickly.

“For them to be so satisfied with the bookings in such a short window is impressive and talks to the strength of the market,” Donohue said.

In the spring, there will be three daily flights to Tokyo Narita, one operated by JAL and two by its Oneworld alliance partner, American Airlines.

All three flights are part of a joint venture agreement between JAL and American Airlines. Under the agreement, the airlines share revenue, sales and marketing on certain flights between Japan and the U.S.

“When our joint business agreement started in 2011, there were 14 trans-Pacific flights from American and JAL,” said Doug Parker, American’s chairman and CEO. “This new flight from Narita makes 23, a remarkable 64 percent growth in just four years.”

JAL had previously flown the DFW-Tokyo Narita route, starting in March 1999, with a Boeing 747. However, it discontinued the service shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9-11.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk