Hub-Tokyo Service Set by Japan Airlines

June 8, 2011

-By Joshua Resnek

If you want to book a flight direct to Tokyo from Logan Airport, you will soon have that chance, according to Japan Airlines officials who announced recently that the airline will be flying non-stop to Tokyo from Logan next year.

Massachusetts Port Authority officials reacted with excitement over the prospect, which they believe may generate as much as $175 million for the regional economy in 2012.

“For Logan Airport, this is the possibility of an enormous economic boost,” said Logan Airport media director Phil Orlandella.

“There is a sizable marketplace locally for flights to Tokyo. This is exactly why Japan Airlines will be flying direct to Tokyo out of Logan. It cuts more than four hours from all present flights to Tokyo which begin here with a cross country flight to California, and then on to Japan,” he added.

Industry travel sources said the direct flight to Tokyo from Logan is a long time coming, and several airline officials said that this big announcement concerning Japan Airlines flying direct to Japan out of Logan was mostly former Massport Executive Director Thomas J. Kinton, Jr.’s doing.

“It was his last hurrah and he should get the credit for this,” said one airline official who wished to remain unnamed. “This was largely his doing. It took months of talks and negotiations. He made it possible,” said the source.

The Boston-Tokyo direct flight is an achievement of sorts for Logan and Massport officials as they have sought non-stop service to Asia for quite sometime.

If all goes according to schedule, Japan Airlines is expecting to begin flights from Logan to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport in April 2012.

According to Massport, Boston is the largest U.S. market without nonstop Asian service.

More than 380,000 passengers flew from Boston to Asia in 2010. This generated $350 million in ticket sales, Massport officials said.

Both Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino are thrilled with the Japan Airlines announcement.

The governor told aids and many of his friends in the local business community that direct flights from Boston to Tokyo are wonderful – and that the Japanese using Boston as a destination is even better.

Menino told the Logan Times that this new nonstop between Tokyo and Boston will tie together our many universities with those in Japan as well as bringing closer together business leaders in both nations. He said it was good business culturally and economically.

JAL said it was planning to use the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for the Boston-Tokyo flights.

They said four flights per week have been scheduled.

In fact, Boeing officials announced last month that the 787 Dreamliner’s readiness to enter commercial service is now being tested in Japan where its maiden appearance is scheduled for July 4 with a series of intercity flights in Japan.

The 787 Dreamliner uses 20% less fuel that any airplane of its size presently in service, according to Boeing officials.

It seats 210-250 passengers and has a range of 8200 nautical miles.

Its wingspan is 197 feet. The airplane itself is 186 feet long.

It has a top cruising speed of Mach 0.85 or approximately 760 miles per hour.

Its maximum weight on takeoff fully loaded with passengers, fuel and baggage is 502,500 pounds.