Japan Airlines upgrades Boeing 787 fleet with Sky Suite III

By David Flynn, June 22 2017
Japan Airlines upgrades Boeing 787 fleet with Sky Suite III

Japan Airlines will introduce its latest Sky Suite III business class seat onto the international Boeing 787-9 fleet from July.

The third-gen Sky Suite is based on the same business class design and 1-2-1 layout as popularised by Cathay Pacific.

The seats convert into a 78 inch (1.98 metre) fully-flat bed at up to 21 inches wide, with a 17 inch HD video screen.

These are the same business class seats which made their debut on JAL's long-range Boeing 777-200ER in mid-2016, and the more efficient layout will also see the Boeing 787-9's business class cabin increase from 44 seats to 52 seats.


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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Feb 2015

Total posts 34

Are they taking the ones below out in favor of the new ones? I hope not, the original one is better 

02 Mar 2013

Total posts 32

I agree, the older configuration is better but is suspect that it is less dense. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 356

From the text it seems that way. "Both the 787-8 and 787-9..." Apex suite is the only product available on 787-9. Then it's not upgrade, it's downgrade :(

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 621


They are and I agree with your assessment.  The original SS1(SkySuite1) design offers much more privacy than their latest SS3.

SS1 is a true 'suite' but its layout does consume a lot of cabin 'real estate' for the access path(a space that's totally useless to the pax when he/she is seated) to the aisle.  It's also tough for JL inflight product planner to argue against a 18% increase in J seat count in the same given cabin floor area...

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

10 Jan 2017

Total posts 1

Will these seats replace the original six-abreast first generation 787 seats, the ones without the satellite wifi? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2016

Total posts 106

Wow! Japanese airlines upgrade their products like every three years! That's the third reconfigurement for JAL on their 787 fleet.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 621


Not exactly true.  For the 787 fleet, JL has used only 2 J designs so far:

1. Shell Flat Neo:
This J design accompanied their 1st batch of 788 deliveries beginning fm Mar2012.  It's a legacy inclined lie-flat design(i.e. ski slope similar to QF's Skybed1) already used on other JL types in their pre-bankruptcy era.

2. SkySuite1:
This J design accompanied their 1st 789 delivery in Oct2015 and on all subsequent 788+789 deliveries till around Mar this yr.  Some 788s delivered prior to Oct2015 hv also been reconfigured to this design.

So the JL 787 fleet overall has received 1 J design revision/reconfig so far.

Their 787 going fm SkySuite1 to SkySuite3 starting nex mth as reported here will be their 2nd, not "third reconfigurement" of J design.

Just to make it clear, this isn't a standard Zodiac Cirrus configuration. Its the stacked/high density Cirrus implementation where the footwells of the middle seats are vertically stacked so as to reduce the necessary pitch.

Japan Airlines - JAL Mileage Bank

09 May 2017

Total posts 12

Wait so they are getting rid of the old configuration?

They should do it only for the old 787s

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1025

This doesn't sound right.
JAL currently has 3 configs on their 787s. The first few 787-8s delivered have the old angle flat shell seats. The rest of the -8s have the "SS8" suite.
All the 787-9s have the "SS9" suite.
There are a number of different versions of the Sky Suite which are slightly different for each aircraft type ("SS*" 2/3/6/7/8/9)

It appears that this "SS9II" suite will be used on new delivery 787-9s. It does not sound like they will be ripping out the existing SS9 suite from their current 787-9s.

01 Feb 2015

Total posts 3

As rowensears raised, the real issue to me is if the angle-flat 787-8 seats will be reconfigured with the new seats or not.

JL uses those angle-flat seats on too many long distance routes, e.g., NRT-SAN (San Diego) and NRT-BKK.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 621

@1KBrad:"JL uses those angle-flat seats on too many long distance routes, e.g., NRT-SAN"
That product std choice by JL(or in fact any carrier) has little to do with flight distance(although typical consumers tend to think that way).

It has everything to do with the degree of mkt competition and SAN-NRT is a JL monopoly.  In fact, no one competes in SAN-Asia nonstop except JL.  It's exactly why right next door @ LAX-NRT, it was among the 1st batch of JL routes to get SkySuite1 almost immediately after that product debut back in 2013 when NRT-SAN today is still stuck with Shell Flat Neo.

6 carriers compete for the J mkt in LAX-NRT/HND on a daily basis.  12 more(13 fm Sep2017) compete for the J mkt in LAX-Asia nonstop excluding airlines fm the Mid-East/Gulf.  At least 16 of them use nothing but horizontal flat bed std in J for all LAX frequencies. 

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 388

Not correct. PR have SFO - MNL nonstops.

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