Japan Airlines (or JAL) was established in 1951 with the government of Japan addressing the need for Japan to have a reliable air transport system following World War II.  On 25 October 1951, Japan’s first post-war domestic airline service was inaugurated, using a Martin 2-0-2 aircraft, named ‘Mokusei’, and crew leased from Northwest Airlines.  Japan Airlines concentrated on extending its services throughout much of Japan for the first couple of years, then in 1953 began flying internationally with a flight carrying eighteen passengers from Tokyo to San Francisco.  The flights between Tokyo and San Francisco are still Flights 1 and 2, to commemorate its first international service.


JAL currently serves 54 international destinations across Asia, the Americas, Europe and Oceania.  The airline also flies to 59 cities within Japan.  It has codeshare agreements with its OneWorld partners and other major airlines including Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Korean Air, Thai Airways and WestJet.


Currently Japan Airlines operates all Boeing passenger planes, a mixture of narrow and wide-body aircraft.  The fleet is mostly made up of 737-800’s and 767-300ER’s.  There are also 24 B787 Dreamliners.  In 2013 Japan Airlines ordered its first Airbus aircraft, 31 A350’s that are due to be delivered into service in 2019.

Japan Airlines, 787

Japan Airlines, 787

JAL’s new First Class Sky Suite 777 started between Tokyo (Haneda) and Sydney from 26 October 2015.  It features a wider, more comfortable bed, retractable privacy partition, 23-inch personal entertainment screen with noise-cancelling headphones and ample storage compartments.  Amenity kits are designed by the American brand Zero Halliburton with dental kit, mouthwash, earplugs, eye mask, towel, lip balm and brush.

Frequent Flyer Program

JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) is the travel rewards program of JAL Group, which includes Japan Airlines and it subsidiary airlines.  The program’s airline partners also include JAL’s Oneworld partners, as well as Air France, China Eastern Airlines and Emirates.  For the airline’s most frequent flyers, JMB offers the Fly On Program, a frequent flyer service status program divided into four membership levels, Crystal, Sapphire, JGC Premier and Diamond; and JAL Global Club (JGC), an exclusive club designed for JAL’s most experienced and valuable travellers.

The JMB program has no membership fee, and mileage will be valid to the last day of the 36th month following the month of the flight or transaction date. 

Airport Lounges

Sakura Lounge, named after the Japanese word for cherry blossom, is Japan Airlines’ signature lounge at Tokyo Narita Airport.  In addition, the airline also operates lounges internationally, including First Class Lounge, Sakura Lounge annex and JAL Lounge.  Access to the lounges depends on the passenger’s class of travel or their membership status in the JAL Mileage Bank or Global Club.

The Sakura Lounge offers complimentary beverages, including juice, soft drinks, coffee, tea, mineral water and alcoholic drinks; and snacks. A variety of reading materials are also available, such as major local and sports newspapers, weekly magazines and economy books.  Business services include public phones, fax and copy machines, personal computers and wireless LAN available in the Sakura lounge.

Japan Airlines, First Class Lounge, Narita Airport

Japan Airlines, First Class Lounge, Narita Airport

Fact Sheet:

Hub Cities: Tokyo (Haneda & Narita Airports)
Secondary Hubs: Osaka (Kansai & Itami Airports)
Focus Cities: Nagoya, Fukuoka, Okinawa, Sapporo
Frequent Flyer Programs: JAL Mileage Bank, JAL Global Club
Airport Lounges: Diamond Premier, JAL First Class, Sakura
Airline Alliance: OneWorld
Fleet Size: 188
Destinations: 92
International Routes: 394 (including code-shares)
Domestic Routes: 132