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Toshinari Oshima, VP And Regional Manager For Eastern Region, Japan Airlines

Apr 1, 2005
2005 / April 2005

Global Traveler: Japan Airlines is the largest Asian carrier.With all the competition among Asian and American carriers, how does JAL differentiate itself?
Toshinari Oshima: JAL differentiates itself from others by conducting its flights with an on-time record of 99 percent despite being the world’s largest Asian carrier. With the largest and most modern fleet of 747 aircraft worldwide, JAL transports approximately 60 million passengers each year. Our success is due to the commitment of all our employees, who continuously strive to make JAL more efficient and technologically superior. In addition to our emphasis on on-time service, it is JAL’s objective to provide our passengers with the same exceptional level of service and comfort uniquely inherent to Japanese culture and practiced for more than 2,000 years. Airport lounge access with complimentary business amenities, food and beverages is offered to all first- and executive-class passengers.

GT: JAL recently introduced its “Shell” lie-flat seat in business class — how does this compare with other seats in the marketplace?
TO: Most airlines provide lie-flat seats only to their first-class passengers. JAL feels that all business travelers deserve to arrive at their destination fully rested and relaxed. In 2002, 91 signature “Shell Flat” bed-style seats were installed on aircraft servicing our New York–Tokyo routes (Flights 5/6). With an expanded pitch of up to 62 inches, an increased recline to a full 170 degrees and a 24.5-inch width, we ensured total relaxation to all our executive-class passengers. In addition, JAL’s unique “Shell Flat” design accentuates one’s sense of privacy. Frequent business travelers will appreciate seasonal meals and décor changes. Our “Shell Flat” seats are also equipped with JAL’s Magic Entertainment System, which provides our passengers with premium video-on-demand-format movies and video channels, 18 audio channels and up to 10 games to keep them entertained during their long flights. In May, we will be introducing the wireless Internet service Connexion by Boeing on our New York–Tokyo flights.

GT: I see that there are new routes/extra service out of Chicago to Tokyo. Are there any other updates/new routes/flights in store for North America?
TO: Our current schedule across the Pacific includes only the three additional afternoon flights per week between Chicago and Tokyo, for a weekly total of 10 flights. With these three additional flights, JAL now has a total of 50 nonstop flights from the Americas to Japan. In Asia, however, Japan Airlines is planning to expand its Japan-China network. By July, JAL will have the most extensive network between Japan and 13 Chinese cities, served by 29 routes and 237 flights per week. In addition, JAL’s Japan-China network will include domestic code-share flights with access to 20 cities.

GT: JAL is a three-class carrier. Some airlines have added premium economy to this mix — does JAL have any plans to do so?
TO: At this time JAL has no plans to alter our current cabin structure.

GT: Along this same line, with the improvement and launch of the lie-flat “Shell” seat, why would a traveler select first class over this new product?
TO: While our executive class “Seasons” offers our business-class travelers the ultimate comfort and service in flight, JAL also recognizes that there are many discriminating travelers for whom first-class service and comfort are of paramount importance. JAL’s New Skysleeper Solo offers complete privacy (there are only 11 seats in the first-class cabin). Designed for both physical and mental relaxation, the fully reclining Italian-leather seat conforms to the natural curves of the body and features a lumbar-massage function. Passengers will enjoy the convenience of a personal telephone, laptop power source and our Magic Entertainment System. Down comforters,  pillows and sleepwear are provided upon request.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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