Qantas partner Japan Airlines (JAL) will start a Boeing 787 service between Sydney and Tokyo from December 1st as part of the airline's expansion of its Dreamliner flights.
The daily JL771/772 flight will move from the current Boeing 777 to a factory-fresh Boeing 787 in a 'third wave' of JAL's Dreamliner destinations, along with San Francisco and Moscow (beginning September 1st) and Bangkok (December 2nd).
JAL's Boeing 787 fleet has been grounded since mid-January, but will resume flying in June following upgrades to the jet's lithium-ion battery system.
The first 787 flights to resume will be from Tokyo's Haneda and Narita airports to Beijing, Boston, San Diego and Singapore beginning June 1st, with Delhi and Helsinki following in July.
Qatar is still odds-on favourite to pip JAL at the post for Australia's first Boeing 787 service, with its Perth-Doha run expected to commence soon.
Jetstar will likely find itself in second place once the Qantas offshoot takes delivery of its first Boeing 787 in the second half of the year, while China Southern is also tipping Australia as one of the destinations for its 787s.
Inside JAL's Boeing 787 Dreamliner
JAL's Boeing 787 follows a simple two-class configuration of 44 seats in 'Executive Class' (in a 2-2-2 configuration) and 144 in economy (arranged 2-4-2).
The pointy end of the plane gets JAL's new Shell Flat Neo seats with a 60 inch pitch, 21 inches width and a 171 degree recline – so they're not a true fully-flat bed.
Each seat has a 15.4 inch touchscreen panel hooked up to an in-flight entertainment system running on Google's Android platform.
JAL is also playing up the inclusion of a warm-water Toto Washlet toilet in the Executive Class loo. (If you've visited Japan you'll appreciate the importance they place on toilets...)
The economy class seats have a 31 inch pitch and are 18.5 inches wide, and fitted with a 10.6 inch touchscreen video display.
Every seat from tip to tail on JAL's Boeing 787 also gets an AC power outlet and a USB socket.
JAL has also invoked its own twist on the 787's LED lighting "to create a soothing in-flight atmosphere that would evoke a sense of the four seasons in Japan, such as pink hues of cherry blossoms in spring."
Another nod to local culture are the digital editions of over 30 Japanese comic titles on the in-flight entertainment system's SKY MANGA channel.
Fancy a walkthough? This video clip was shot by our friends at FlightGlobal.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.