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A Japan Airlines 787-9 departing. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Japan Plans Schedule Changes & Executive Changes as New Fiscal Year Begins

Japan Airlines announced changes in both operations for the 2021 flight as well as changes for the new year’s corporate structure. The airline, which runs a financial calendar from April 1 to March 31, will see the corporate changes take place when the new fiscal year begins.

The airline noted five executive retirements, with Managing Executive Officers Hideo Ninomiya and Tetsuya Onuki leaving their respective positions by March 31. Following suit, Executive Officers Akira Yonezawa, Hideki Oshima, and Takuya Oda have all agreed to vacate their positions on a similar timetable to the Managing Executive Officers. Tadayuki Tsutsumi and Hiroyuki Yangai have both been confirmed to take over roles in the company, as the Managing Executive Officer and Outside Director, respectively.

Of other notes, the flag carrier announced the resignation of their Corporate Auditor Yasushi Suzuka, who will leave the position on June 1. His replacement has been granted to Yuichi Kitada, who will move over from the Managing Executive Officer position in the process.

Following the reduction of traveling in the current State of Emergency in Japan, the national brand has pushed forward further flight cuts for the month of March. After initially cutting 4,995 domestic flights from the planned schedule, Japan Airlines will add an additional 8,064 operations from the schedule, removing 269 flights per day from the March skies. This removes 49% of JAL’s March domestic operations and brings the total number of March flights lost to 13,059 for the flag carrier. The airline will continue to monitor the current State of Emergency in the home nation as any further expansion would impact the airline’s planned schedule.

Internationally, Japan plans revisions to the long-haul network beginning in April. The first major note is the return of Tokyo-Haneda to Moscow-Sheremetyevo service while will be reinstated on April 22, 2021. Japan Airlines will continue to utilize the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the route, which was suspended in February 2020 as the pandemic was dragging down the airline industry. The airline had announced a November 2020 codeshare with Aeroflot, of which the deal would be utilized for passengers on both airlines across the route. The airline says reinstating the route will help lead to further codeshare expansions to new routes in the future.

Further international changes will be seen on a week-to-week basis, where Tokyo/Haneda-Honolulu, Tokyo/Haneda-Sydney and Tokyo/Narita-Manila all see service changes. Sydney service will update first when March begins, seeing the routes to three times weekly before changing during April to twice weekly from Haneda, once weekly from Narita. Flights will be expanded to Manila once-weekly starting April 7 and Honolulu will be increased by one flight per week starting April 20th.

The airline says that the number of international routes will be reduced by 76% from last year’s schedule. The airline has axed roughly 3,600 international flights per month with 60 total routes seeing a reduction.


  • Although Ian McMurtry was never originally an avgeek, he did enjoy watching US Airways aircraft across western Pennsylvania in the early 2000s. He lived along the Pennsylvania Railroad and took a liking to trains but a change of scenery in the mid-2000s saw him shift more of an interest into aviation. He would eventually express this passion by taking flying lessons in mid-Missouri and joining AirlineGeeks in 2013. Now living in Wichita, Kansas, Ian is in college majoring in aerospace engineering and minoring in business administration at Wichita State University.

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