07 April, 2021

Japan Airlines updates schedule, axes 777s and take part in COVID app trials.

Japan Airlines (JAL) has decided to bring forward the retirement of its fleet of Pratt & Whitney - P & W powered Boeing 777 aircraft, scheduled for March next year to now. The carrier made a short statement to advise the type is now retired and would not be returning to normal scheduled operations.

Over 25 years after JAL took delivery of its first Boeing 777 in 1996, the carrier has operated Pratt & Whitney (P&W) equipped Boeing 777-200 and 777-300.

In response to the incident involving an engine failure on JL904 on December 4, 2020, operating from Okinawa Naha to Tokyo Haneda airport, and the United Airlines incident involving an engine failure on February 20,2021, Japan Airlines has suspended the operations of Boeing 777 equipped with identical P&W manufactured engines. We will continue to fully cooperate and respond to the investigation by the Japan Transport Safety Board to determine the cause of the incident.

JAL has decided to accelerate the retirement of all P&W equipped Boeing 777 by March 2021, which is originally planned by March 2022. 

To address this issue, the carrier introduces state-of-the-art A350-900 with low noise and fuel-efficient engines to Osaka (Itami) routes, and put International aircraft on domestic routes, so that the carrier can maintain the frequency of flights.  "The flights scheduled to be operated by the same type of aircraft will be changed to the alternative aircraft in order. Due to the change in aircraft, your seat number may be changed without prior notice."  the airline said. 

The airline has also recently updated its international flying schedule from now until the end of September.  

Key highlights include:

- To increase scheduled service from Narita-Bangkok to five per week from the month of June to provide seamless connections for customers from North America.

- To increase service between Narita=Bengaluru to once per week from the month of June.

- In order to accommodate customers traveling to cities outside of Tokyo, the carrier will operate extra section flights as shown below.

a) One flight from Dallas Fort Worth to Nagoya Chubu in May and July, respectively

b) One flight from Los Angeles to Nagoya Chubu in June

c) One flight per week from London to Osaka Kansai through the months of July and August

d) Increase one scheduled flight from Los Angeles to Osaka Kansai in June

The carrier will continue to review travel restrictions within each destination and update its international network plan, while asking for our customer`s understanding during this unprecedented time. Schedules are valid as of April 1 and are subject to government approvals

The JAL Group has taken proactive steps to implement and strengthen key measures against COVID-19 to provide customers a safe and secure travel experience. As a result of the carrier`s proactive health safety measures, JAL was certified and awarded by Skytrax and APEX in March 2021.

Extra Section Flights to Chubu Centrair Airport

To support essential travel needs for customers planning to return to Central Japan during the summer, JAL will operate one-way flights from Dallas Fort Worth and Los Angeles.

To further enhance operations, the airline has said it will be participating in trials with three industry leading digital health credential apps – CommonPass, VeriFLY, and IATA Travel Pass – as it moves toward plans for adoption on international flights.

A digital health credential app is a dedicated mobile platform to store information, such as displaying COVID-19 test results, in accordance with entry requirements at the applicable country of destination in a safe and secure manner during the customer’s international journey.1 JAL will continue to work with the relevant organizations to trial the apps, with the aim of resuming air travel with greater safety and peace of mind on international flights.

Purpose of Trials
- Introduce and expand worldwide the health credential platforms, which can display information on a customer’s digital device, including COVID-19 test results issued by medical institutions, and other entry requirement information for each destination
- Achieve a contactless and seamless check-in process with health credential apps (i.e. Self Check-in)
- Expand applicable situations, including clearing health quarantine processes with the usage of health credential platforms

The JAL Group will continue to adopt and implement key safety measures, and the airline fully recognizes the need to restore public confidence in air travel.

Initiated by The Commons Project and The World Economic Forum. CommonPass validates COVID-19 test results issued by medical institutions, meeting the applicable country’s entry requirements on a digital device.

The trial will confirm the function of sending COVID-19 test results from Toho University Haneda Airport Terminal 3 Clinic (an approved COVID-19 testing facility by the State of Hawaii) to the CommonPass app.


Application developed by Daon, a software company providing identity assurance software by biometric authentication. VeriFLY is already in practical use for select U.S. routes. Customers can view/register/manage their own COVID-19 test results and other necessary documents required by the country of destination, prior to their journey. By reviewing the registered information, VeriFLY will display a ready to travel status, which enables the check-in process to become seamless.

The carrier plans to implement VeriFLY for JAL-operated flights on Japan = North America routes in April 2021. Official launch will be advised at a later date.


IATA Travel Pass
The IATA Travel Pass will help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccines. The Travel Pass consists of four modules – a global registry of health requirements, a global registry of testing/vaccination centers, a lab app to securely share test and vaccination certificates with passengers, and a contactless travel app which enables passengers to create a digital passport and manage their travel documentation digitally. Travelers remain in control of their data with their privacy protected as the IATA Travel pass does not store any data centrally.

JAL to trial the service on select international flights in May 2021.
The trial will confirm a) the customer’s identity by passport data, b) function to send COVID-19 test results from medical institutions, c) search for entry requirements of destination, and d) confirm the process of information verification at the airport counter.

Among the three health credential apps, CommonPass and the IATA Travel Pass aim to become the industry standard for full implementation on a global scale. VeriFLY is in practical use in the U.S., which allows the introduction of the platform on JAL international flights to/from the country. By collaborating with various health credential platforms, JAL will strive to provide a safe and secure travel experience for those with essential travel needs today.


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