ANA announced today that they will be launching service from Tokyo Narita to Seattle and San Jose on their new Boeing 787 aircraft. The service is supposed to start on April 1, 2012, though I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a bit of a delay there.
While the Airbus 380 is an amazing plane, as I found out from flying it in Qantas first class, it really doesn’t add anything in the way of new routes, since for the most part it instead leads to the consolidation of fights and reduction of frequencies. So aside from marginally more comfortable cabins, I’d say it’s a negative for consumers on the whole.
And that’s the beauty of the 787. It leads to new routes and more frequencies, thanks not only to how much lower the operating costs are, but also thanks to how small the plane is. ANA only has 158 seats on their 787s, 46 of which are business class.
I already have a business class seat booked on a Japan Airlines 787 for next May, from Tokyo to Boston, using American miles. That being said, their business class product is nowhere near as good as ANA’s.
These flights aren’t bookable yet, though as soon as I see them loaded I’ll be sure to post, especially since I suspect we’ll see some award seats loaded as well, at least initially.