Japan Airlines (JAL) have taken delivery of their first A350 on 13 June 2019 in which I attended the delivery ceremony. It was a historical moment for Airbus as it was the first ever Airbus ordered and delivered to JAL.
Today in Tokyo, JAL have finally revealed their A350 cabin interiors. JAL's new A350 will be entering domestic service exclusively. So it is the first domestic A350 in the world!
JAL intend to use the A350 to replace their aging B777-200 on domestic routes. It may seems to be a strange move for an airline to put a brand new A350 but you may remember JAL operated many B747 on domestic routes until late 2000s! Currently the domestic/international revenue split for JAL is 50/50 so domestic Japan routes are significant for JAL.
The new JAL A350-900 will have reduced takeoff weight of just 217 tons. (normal A350 has 275 tons MTOW). With the reduced engine thrust and less weight, it is a good fit for domestic high cycle operation.
JAL’s A350-900 is configured in a premium three class layout, with 12 seats in First Class, 94 in Class J and 263 in Economy.
As JAL intend to use the new A350 to replace B777 on domestic routes. The new economy seating on A350 (9 abreast in 3-3-3) is an improvement over the current B777 which is 10 abreast seating. (3-4-3)
JAL's A350 Class J is more of a premium economy seat in 2-4-2 configuration. Although the name Class J sounds like Business Class. The fare is usually slightly higher than economy and one can upgrade to Class J by paying just 1,000 yen at the airport.