Japan Airlines is set to begin taking delivery of 13 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft towards the end of 2024. These will eventually become the carrier’s flagship aircraft for long-haul flights, as they replace the airline’s 13 Boeing 777-300ERs.
We now know what to expect, as the airline has released details of the refreshed cabins, which include a massive improvement to the current state of affairs for its First Class suite.
Japan Airlines to Take Delivery of 13 Airbus A350-1000s
Japan Airlines is set to begin taking delivery of its order of 13 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. The Japanese carrier anticipates having two delivered by the end of 2023, and plans to debut the new cabins on the Tokyo Haneda (HND – New York (JFK) route.
When it begins, the A350-1000 will operate on alternating days on flights JL5 & JL6. It’s worth noting that Japan Airlines had planned to launch the new aircraft by late November 2023; however, that’s been pushed back due to supply chain delays.
The remaining aircraft on order will be delivered over the next few years, and all should be in service by 2028.
The premium-heavy design will feature 239 seats, spread out as follows:
- Six First Class suites
- 54 business class seats
- 25 premium economy seats
- 155 economy seats
By contrast, the airline’s current long-haul 777-300ER configuration offers 254 seats, spread out as follows:
- Eight First Class seats
- 49 business class seats
- 40 premium economy seats
- 147 economy seats
Passengers can expect an entirely redesigned experience on this new aircraft, including brand-new cabin interiors, innovative seats, revamped meal service, and enhanced entertainment options.
Japan Airlines’s New A350-1000 First Class
Japan Airlines’s new First Class cabin will feature just six suites spread out across two rows in a 1-1-1 configuration. The seats are designed by UK-based Safran, and there are a number of sweeping improvements to the airline’s current 777 First Class cabin.
For the first time ever, Japan Airlines First Class will feature privacy doors that create an enclosed suite. The walls surrounding the suite measure approximately 157cm (62 inches), and don’t extend all the way to the ceiling.
Inside the suite, you can enjoy a very generous amount of space, with the following dimensions:
- 211cm (83 inches) of seat pitch
- 123cm (48 inches) of seat width
- 203cm (80 inches) of bed length
The entertainment screen in the suite measures a whopping 43 inches, which happens to be equal to the monitor size offered in ANA’s “The Suite” First Class.
The Japan Airlines A350 First Class suite features three different seating modes: Sofa, Seat & Single Bed, or Double Bed.
Sofa mode has both seats in the suite in an upright position, while Seat & Single Bed mode has the larger of the two in lie-flat mode, and the smaller seat by the door upright.
Double Bed mode has both seats in a lie-flat position, creating a very spacious bed in the sky.
The new First Class suite features a wardrobe for hanging garments, and plenty of storage space within the suite for placing your personal belongings. Notably, there aren’t any overhead bins in the First Class cabin, as there’s space for carry-on baggage underneath the suite’s ottoman.
For the first time, Japan Airlines First Class passengers can enjoy a headphone-free stereo experience, with speakers built into the headrest. The headrest itself also features a reclining function, to assist with comfortable viewing in lie-flat mode.
Other key features of the new Japan Airlines First Class experience include an in-suite minibar, a monitor for communicating with the crew, and wireless charging capabilities.
Japan Airlines First Class passengers will continue to enjoy the airline’s excellent meal and beverage offerings, as well as 100% organic cotton loungewear.
Japan Airlines’s New A350-1000 Business Class
The business class cabin on Japan Airlines’s A350-1000 aircraft is also set to receive an overhaul. As with the First Class suites, the new business class seats are manufactured by UK-based Safran.
The A350-1000 business class cabin features 54 seats spread out across 14 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. One business class cabin is to the left of door two, just behind the First Class cabin, and the larger business class cabin is to the right of door two, in front of the premium economy cabin.
Overhead bins are only present on the window side to allow for an open atmosphere within the cabin.
Each seat features a sliding, translucent privacy door, with walls that measure up to 132cm (52 inches).
Inside the business class suite, you can enjoy a generous amount of space, with the following dimensions:
- 130cm (51 inches) of seat pitch
- 56cm (22 inches) of seat width
- 198cm (78 inches) of bed length
The entertainment screen in the suite measures 24 inches, and the headrest in the business class suite also features built-in speakers and a reclining function.
The A350-1000 business class suite features a wardrobe for hanging garments, and the partition located in between the middle seats can slide down if you’re travelling with a companion.
Other key features of the new Japan Airlines business class cabin include storage for carry-on items under the seat, as well as wireless charging capabilities.
Japan Airlines business class passengers can rent pajamas, which are jointly developed with UCHINO with an “Airy Touch” material. There’ll also be new amenity kits that feature designs from Heralbony, with a mission to “Unleash Your Exceptionality”.
Japan Airlines’s New A350-1000 Premium Economy & Economy Cabins
The premium economy and economy cabins on Japan Airlines’s A350-1000 aircraft are also getting a makeover. Safran France manufactures the premium economy seats, while Germany-based Recaro makes the economy seats.
The A350-1000 premium economy cabin features 24 seats spread out across three rows in a 2-4-2 configuration. The premium economy cabin is in between the business class and economy cabins.
The new premium economy seats will feature the following dimensions:
- 107cm (42 inches) of seat pitch
- 48cm (19 inches) of seat width
The entertainment screen in each seat measures 16 inches, and there’s a large sliding privacy partition to provide some visual separation between you and your seatmate.
Furthermore, the legrest can be raised to a horizontal level, and the tray table is configured to conveniently hold tablets in place.
The A350-1000 economy cabin features 155 seats spread out across 18 rows in a 3-3-3 configuration, located at the rear of the aircraft, with the following dimensions:
- 84–86cm (33–34 inches) of seat pitch
- 46cm (18 inches) of seat width
The entertainment screen in each seat measures 13 inches.
Passengers in economy and premium economy will have the option to pay for an enhanced meal on flights, including vegan and vegetarian options.
It’s worth noting that the seat pitch offered in Japan Airlines economy is amongst the best in the industry.
A New Era of Flying with Japan Airlines
The most exciting element of Japan Airlines’s launch of the A350-1000 is the massive improvement to the First Class hard product, as compared to the current state of affairs.
JAL’s 777 First Class product is now quite dated, and many other airlines, including its rival ANA, have introduced much more competitive hard products.
With the introduction of a fully enclosed suite, a massive entertainment screen, and the option to have both a bed and a seat at the same time, the newest iteration of Japan Airlines First Class looks to be truly spectacular.
When combined with the airline’s exceptional food and beverage product and top-notch service, this will become a very sought-after way to get between North America and Japan.
Built-in headrest speakers in First Class and business class is a unique innovation, and it’ll be interesting to see how it works in practice.
Surely, the airline must have taken measures to ensure that the speakers won’t disturb other passengers in the cabin; otherwise, it’d result in the same unpleasant situation as people using speakerphones in airline lounges.
The updates to business class are also quite appealing, although perhaps not to the same extent as First Class.
Passengers in premium economy will enjoy having legrests that can be raised to a horizontal position, and passengers travelling in premium economy and economy will enjoy a generous amount of pitch.
Japan Airlines has revealed what its new Airbus A350-1000 cabins will look like, and all four classes of service are set to improve when compared to the current long-haul offerings on the Boeing 777-300ER.
Notably, the First Class cabin will feature sliding doors, a 43-inch entertainment screen, a very generous amount of space, and the ability to have a bed and a seat at the same time.
It’s expected that Japan Airlines will debut these new cabins on the Tokyo Haneda (HND) – New York (JFK) route by the end of the year, with more routes offered as the airline takes delivery of more aircraft in the years to come.