JAL begins flights to Boston with 787s

Kyodo

Japan Airlines began flights Sunday between Narita airport and Boston, its first new route since undergoing corporate rehabilitation after its January 2010 bankruptcy, and also its first using the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet.

The 48th route for the airline — which streamlined its regular services from the 64 domestic and international routes it operated before its collapse — is the first regular service between the capital of Massachusetts and Japan.

“It is also the first time for the 787 to go into regular service with the United States. I hope it will be a new bridge between Japan and the United States,” JAL President Yoshiharu Ueki said in a ceremony prior to the departure of the first flight.

Almost all of the 186 seats on the first flight to Boston were occupied, the struggling airline said. Passengers received “anpan” sweet buns and other commemorative gifts before boarding the plane.

JAL expects the fuel-efficient midsize jet to help it generate profit on the route, which would be unprofitable with jumbo jets. The Dreamliner has greater range than similarly sized aircraft.