JAL upgrades domestic flights with inflight wifi, new seats

By David Flynn, January 30 2014
JAL upgrades domestic flights with inflight wifi, new seats

Qantas partner Japan Airlines will upgrade its domestic flights with new business and economy seats plus inflight Internet from the middle of this year as part of its ambitious JAL Sky Next refresh program.

Some 77 aircraft in JAL's short-range Boeing fleet are in line for the make-over, including nine of the twin-aisle Boeing 767-300ER jets which will also be fitted with an exclusive first class cabin.

The first member of the renewed JAL Sky Next fleet is expected to begin flights in May, although the airline has not yet revealed which routes will see the beefed-up Boeings.

JAL's new recliner business class seats will be covered in leather and configured with 38 inch pitch and an extra-wide armrest between seats.

Their economy siblings are also leather-clad and use a molded slimline design to reduce weight and increase effective legroom while retaining a 31 inch pitch, with JAL listing them as 5cm (2 inches) thinner than conventional economy seats.

The upgraded Boeing 767-300s with first class will begin flying in late 2014, JAL says.

As each Sky Next jet is overhauled it will also receive a refreshed cabin with LED lighting which JAL says will change "the cabin atmosphere  according to the flight hours, the season, and the natural rhythm of time to create a relaxing ambience and a feeling of Japan."

The WiFi service will be launched in July 2014 and will beam JAL's inflight entertainment content throughout the aircraft for free, with Internet based on Gogo's high-speed satellite system available for a fee.

JAL will offer Internet access in a half-hour block for ¥400 (A$4.50). Unlimited plans will range from ¥500 (A$5.60) for a smartphone on all domestic routes to ¥500, ¥700 and ¥1200 for tablets and laptops depending on the length of the flight.

Diamond, Premier and Sapphire members of JAL's Mileage Bank frequent flyer program will receive free WiFi coupons every year.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 543

These are sure improvements, even though only slight ones. Hope all goes well.

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 194

That recliner business seat looks like the old BA Y+ seat. It wasn't very comfortable!

Japan Airlines - JAL Mileage Bank

31 Jan 2014

Total posts 1

"Class J" isn't really "Business Class", as it is only 1,000JPY to upgrade or free to most people booking through corporate rates. The difference from economy marginal, other than the fact that it's at the front of the plane so it's quicker to get out. Most domestic routes in Japan are under 2 hours anyway so not really fussed.

JAL is also flying the 777-300ER on the JL771/772 NRT-SYD route as of 1 Feb since they've ditched the 787 on the Aus route due to more engine problems. So snatch a seat in rows 1 and 2 and you will have the first class product they used to have on the US/EU routes.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2014

Total posts 21

I recently flew on JAL domestic economy. The seats were horrible. The seat back is pretty much flat with no support at all and very little padding. The headrest is not adjustable. A terrible economy seat.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on JAL upgrades domestic flights with inflight wifi, new seats