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Aviation News Boeing 787: the first major cabin modification projects begin

Boeing 787: the first major cabin modification projects begin

Romain Guillot
27 FEB 2020 | 830 words
Boeing 787: the first major cabin modification projects begin
© Le Journal de l'Aviation - tous droits réservés
This was clearly something that was on the way, since Boeing's first Dreamliners have now been in service since 2011. The joint press conference held by the American aircraft manufacturer, Japan Airlines (JAL) and Zipair Tokyo during Singapore Airshow provided Ihssane Mounir, Vice President Commercial Sales & Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. with the opportunity to look back over the first major cabin modification campaigns to be implemented for the 787 family.

The new low-cost subsidiary which is 100% owned by JAL will also be using two fully reconfigured aircraft from its parent company, but other aircraft will soon also be receiving the same treatment.

"This airplane, and the 787-8 in particular, has now been flying for practically eight years and we will soon be seeing the first lease returns", said Ihssane Mounir. "We will also be seeing airlines that will be wanting to give this aircraft a new role. This is something which will be happening more and more", he explained, adding that the Boeing Global Services (BGS) division was well placed to work on this type of project.

"We have already carried out small cabin modifications, in particular modifications to seats, but we'll now be seeing much more significant modifications", he observed.

However, Ihssane Mounir didn't want to reveal which major cabin modification projects would soon be launched. Although he did say: "What I can tell you is that a major lease return campaign will be starting next year, in exactly 10 months' time, and this will generate complete cabin modifications and reconfigurations", he revealed. "This is one of the Dreamliner's finest features: once you've defrayed its costs during its initial lifetime, a new life opens up for it".

(Left to right) Ryo Tamura, JAL Procurement Director, Shingo Nishida, CEO of Zipair Tokyo and Ihssane Mounir, Vice President Commercial Sales & Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. © Le Journal de l'Aviation


The cabin modifications to Zipair Tokyo's 787-8s

The first of the two Zipair Tokyo 787-8s from the Japan Airlines fleet has already been given a new two-class layout, densified to 290 seats, compared with 206 seats in its initial configuration.

As we wrote last December, the Japanese airline has decided to replace all of the seats in these cabins. In business, class, eighteen full-flat real leather-backed "Venture" seats provided by the Japanese equipment manufacturer Jamco will be appearing in a 1-2-1 configuration (42 inches between each seat and 51 cm wide).

For economy class, 272 new seats produced by Recaro in a nine-abreast configuration (usually eight at JAL) will occupy the cabin (31 inch pitch and 43 cm width). These seats are backed with artificial leather.



© Zipair Tokyo

"Boeing's engineers really helped us define the cabin without compromising passenger comfort", said Shingo Nishida. He also explained that the aircraft doesn't have a traditional IFE (no screens on all the seats in all classes), but does have a streaming system, with each seat equipped with an electrical socket and a PED-holder.

"By removing the screens and cables from the IFE and by using synthetic leather we have saved 500 kg on the plane's weight, while significantly increasing the number of seats", the airline's CEO explained. He also announced that one of the four galleys initially present onboard the aircraft has also been removed, along with its adjacent toilets.


© Zipair Tokyo

Finally, one small detail which is also important, the Zipair Tokyo 787-8s will also have several "Japanese style" lavatories, "a world first for a low-cost airline", Shingo Nishida was pleased to add.

First take-off on 14th May

The new Japan Airlines low-cost subsidiary will make its first commercial flight on 14th May from its Tokyo Narita base, which is now the secondary international airport at the Japanese capital. Zipair Tokyo will initially be serving Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport (Thailand) for flights lasting an average of six hours. The new airline will then be serving Seoul Incheon (South Korea, a closer (two and a half hours) and much more competitive destination.

But Shingo Nishida already has new ambitions for the airline, stating that he wants to announce trans-Pacific flights "quite soon", with the United States obviously in the front row, along with Hawaii no doubt. For its airline's ETOPS certification, the Zipair Tokyo CEO explained that for the technical aspects the airline can count on the JAL operations centre and on the aircraft expertise and monitoring of its MRO subsidiary JAL Engineering. Only the new airline's crews will need to be ETOPS trained and qualified because of the new CTA (Zipair's pilots are employed independently of the parent company).


© Zipair Tokyo

Romain Guillot
Chief editor
Cofounder of Journal de l'Aviation and Alertavia


 
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