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Japan Airlines Orders 42 Aircraft from Boeing and Airbus

Japan Airlines has placed an order for 42 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus, which includes the Airbus A350-900, Airbus A321neo, and Boeing 787-9 models. This order represents the airline’s first purchase of a non-Boeing narrowbody aircraft. The distribution of the order consists of 32 Airbus and 10 Boeing aircraft, with deliveries expected to start in 2027.

The order will introduce the Airbus A350-900 on international routes, an expansion of its current use in domestic operations. Additionally, the order includes the Airbus A321neo, marking the airline’s entry into operating non-Boeing narrowbody aircraft. To complement its fleet, Japan Airlines will also add an A350-900 with a domestic configuration, replacing an aircraft that was lost earlier this year.

The recent order by Japan Airlines comprises ten Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, augmenting its existing fleet which surpasses 50 aircraft. These 787s are intended to bolster the airline’s international presence, focusing on markets in North America, Asia, and India anticipated for growth.

japan airlines aircraft taking off
Photo by Jeffry Surianto

The order also includes 11 Airbus A321neos, aimed at refreshing the fleet of medium-sized Boeing 767s, marking the airline’s inaugural venture into operating a non-Boeing narrowbody aircraft. This addition is part of the airline’s ongoing narrowbody fleet renewal strategy, which also encompasses the Boeing 737 MAX 8 (737-8) aircraft to replace its Boeing 737-800s.

Japan Airlines Current fleet

Photo by danieldep | iStock

With this latest acquisition, Japan Airlines’ total orders amount to 76 aircraft, including a prior purchase of 21 MAX 8s, with deliveries starting in 2026. The order breakdown is as follows:

  • 21 Boeing 737 MAX 8
  • 11 Airbus A321neo
  • 23 Airbus A350-900
  • 11 Airbus A350-1000
  • 10 Boeing 787-9

Japan Airlines operates a fleet of 191 aircraft, which includes 45 aircraft on wet lease. Historically a Boeing customer since its inception in 1951, the airline diversified its portfolio by ordering Airbus aircraft for the first time in 2013. Currently, out of 145 planes, only 17 are Airbus models, comprising 15 A350-900s and two A350-1000s.

The airline’s narrowbody fleet is relatively modest, consisting of 42 Boeing 737-800s. Widebody aircraft predominantly serve JAL’s domestic routes, including flights that last as short as one hour. The fleet is supplemented by 14 wet-leased ATR aircraft (12 ATR 42-600s and two ATR 72-600s) and 32 Embraer E-Jets (18 E170s and 14 E190s).

Featured image by viper-zero | iStock

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