San Diego International Airport (SAN) and Japan Airlines (JAL) are celebrating 10 years of service to Asia. The airline’s first flight from SAN to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT) was on December 2, 2012.
JAL began service with four flights weekly and grew to offer daily service up until the COVID-19 pandemic, when flights were suspended in March 2020. JAL was the first airline to resume trans-Oceanic service restoring San Diego – Tokyo service in March 2021 with three flights weekly. Since then, service has grown to four flights weekly. Currently, Japan Airlines operates the San Diego – Tokyo (Narita) nonstop flights with Boeing 787 aircraft in a two-class configuration including lie-flat seating in JAL Business Class and award-winning JAL SKY WIDER seats in economy. The airline has served more than 850,000 passengers at San Diego International Airport.
“Japan Airlines was the first Asian carrier to have the foresight to establish a second gateway in Southern California, one of the most densely populated areas with the largest U.S. – Asia passenger market,” said Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority President & CEO. “The JAL flight between San Diego and Tokyo Narita has made business, leisure, and military traffic immensely more efficient cutting hours off transit times. In addition, it makes San Diego more attractive to tourists generating a direct economic impact on our region. We sincerely appreciate Japan Airlines and its dedication to our community. We look forward to continuing our partnership for many more years to come.”
“It is truly exciting to reach this milestone and we are grateful to our customers and our numerous partners who have supported us throughout the past 10 years,” said Frank Fujii, Japan Airlines’ Vice President Southwestern Region. “We have been pleased to offer Asia-bound travelers the only nonstop transpacific service at San Diego and we look forward to continuing to serve customers with our warm Japanese hospitality.”
A gate-side celebration took place today where the Japan Airlines crew provided a welcome announcement and participated in commemorative photos. San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer Hampton Brown and Airport Authority Board Member Paul Robinson gave remarks on behalf of the airport.