Japan Airlines to boost international schedule in July

Japan Airlines (JAL) plans to increase its international operations in July, mainly by opening up some of its routes to Europe and North America that are suspended because of COVID-19.

Overall, JAL will operate 7% of its scheduled international flights in July, compared to 4% in June. The airline said that although there are still entry restrictions in many countries, it has decided to boost flights in the U.S., Europe and Asia for passengers wanting to return to Japan, or “those planning to travel for business or personal reasons.”

The carrier intends to operate 15% of its regularly scheduled North American flights in July, up from just 3% in June. It will resume flying to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), New York (JFK) and San Francisco (SFO), which are added to the Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX) and Vancouver (YVR) routes it was operating in June. Frequencies will be increased slightly, but will still be much lower than normal.

After the July changes, only three of JAL’s regular Americas destinations will not be served: Boston (BOS), San Diego (SAN) and Seattle (SEA).

In Europe, JAL will reopen flights to Frankfurt (FRA), Helsinki (HEL) and Paris (CDG). The carrier was only operating to London Heathrow (LHR) in June. It will operate 21% of its European flights in July, up from 6% in June. Flights to Moscow (DME) and Vladivostok (VVO) will remain suspended.

JAL plans to operate 7% of its Southeast Asian flights and 4% of its Northeast Asian flights in July.

The airline is also increasing its domestic flying. The lifting of the state of emergency in Japan has prompted a “slight recovery in demand” in the domestic network, JAL said. In addition, the government has announced it will ease domestic travel restrictions on June 19.

JAL’s latest domestic network update shows it will operate 42% of its regularly scheduled domestic flights on June 14-20, a significant improvement from the 28% it is flying June 7-13. The carrier intends to operate 46% of its domestic flights June 21-27.
Photo credit: Nigel Howarth / Aviation Week
Adrian Schofield

Adrian is a senior air transport editor for Aviation Week, based in New Zealand. He covers commercial aviation in the Asia-Pacific region.