Japan Airlines Close To Placing Order For Around Two-Dozen Widebodies

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  • Japan Airlines is close to finalizing an order for widebody aircraft, potentially including two dozen new planes.
  • The carrier is planning to restructure its fleet and looking to replace aging Boeing 767 planes as well as adding more narrowbody jets to strengthen its network.
  • As international travel rebounds, airlines in Asia, like Thai Airways and Korean Air, are placing new widebody orders for future fleet development.

Airlines, which were forced to pause operations and put brakes on fleet expansion not too long ago during COVID, are now gearing up for new orders. And according to the latest reports, Japan Airlines is joining the list of other carriers in the region to order more widebody airplanes for its future growth.

Potential widebody order

According to reports, Japan Airlines is close to finalizing an order for widebody aircraft. Sources have quoted Reuters, which said that JAL could order as many as two dozen planes and that a part of that could go to Boeing for its Boeing 787 Dreamliners. JAL already operates 23 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners and 22 787-9s.

Japan Airlines Boeing 787-8 on the ground at an airprot shutterstock_218661910

Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

While there have been no official comments either by the airline or any of the two major aircraft manufacturers, those aware of the matter say that a decision will be made soon. Simple Flying has contacted Japan Airlines for a comment and will update the article if and when we receive a response.

Fleet restructuring

Last year, Japan Airlines’ Deputy SVP for Route Marketing, International Relations, and Alliances, Ross Leggett, said that the airline was conducting an internal study for fleet renewal to consider a replacement for the aging Boeing 767 fleet. He also added that the process would continue for 6–12 months before a potential order is placed.

The carrier has also been looking to develop its narrowbody fleet and placed an order for 21 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets last year, with the new planes expected to join the fleet in the next 2–3 years. It was said that JAL was considering both Airbus and Boeing for the order but went with the 737 again.

Japan Airlines Boeing 737-800 Taxiing In Nagoya

Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

The carrier currently has 42 Boeing 737-800s in its fleet, and the MAXs are supposed to start arriving in 2026 to help strengthen its domestic and regional network.

Japan Airlines has a diverse fleet, with planes from both Boeing and Airbus, including the A350-900s and two newly acquired A350-1000s, which it uses for long-haul service between Tokyo Haneda (HND) and New York (JFK).


Japan Airlines Has Operated Its 1st Airbus A350-1000 Flight To New York JFK

The route will see A350-1000 service every other day until upping to a daily in March.

Widebodies in demand again

International travel was one of the hardest-hit segments of air travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. It forced several airlines to send their widebody planes to long-term storage and pause any new orders.

However, with travel nearing 2019 levels, airlines across the world, including in Asia, are confident enough to place new widebody orders for future fleet development. In February, Thai Airways placed a massive order for 45 Boeing 787 Dreamliners at the Singapore Airshow.

Thai Airways Boeing 787-9

Photo: Komenton | Shutterstock

It also went for the General Electric (GE) GEnx engines to power these planes over the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, which are fitted on its current fleet of 787s. These latest-generation planes will also help contribute towards Thai’s carbon-neutral goals by 2050.

More recently, it was also reported that Korean Air is close to ordering 20 Airbus A350 aircraft, its first widebody order since 2019. Simple Flying has covered this in detail in the article below.


Korean Air Nearing Order For Airbus A350 Widebodies

This would be the airline’s first widebody order since 2019.

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  • Japan-Airlines-Q1-Loss-Falls
    Japan Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Tokyo Haneda Airport, Tokyo Narita Airport

    Year Founded:


    Yuji Akasaka


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