All Nippon Airways Inaugurates Service to Los Angeles
TOKYO (AP) _ All Nippon Airways, Japan’s biggest domestic airline, inaugurated flights to Los Angeles on Wednesday, ending Japan Air Lines’ status as the only Japanese airline with trans-Pacific passenger service.
An All Nippon 747 carrying 297 passengers and 21 crew members left the New Tokyo International Airport at Narita at 6:54 a.m. EDT after a brief ceremony, on a nonstop maiden flight of nine hours and 40 minutes.
The Japanese government had shielded national flag-carrier JAL from competition on international routes by other Japanese commercial airlines until the Cabinet halted the longstanding policy last December.
All Nippon’s five weekly roundtrip flights to Los Angeles mark the airline’s second overseas service. The airline inaugurated flights to Guam from Tokyo in March.
Transportation Ministry officials said All Nippon’s regular service to the United States, including three round trips to Washington beginning July 26, was arranged under a U.S.-Japan aviation agreement reached in April 1985.
The agreement gave either side an additional 10 roundtrip flights a week to the other country in 1986, increasing to 18 each on April 1, 1987.
Under the agreement, JAL has been allotted two roundtrips a week to Atlanta. The U.S. Department of Transportation has yet to decide which other airlines would be given the additional flights.
United Airlines and Northwest Airlines are the U.S. carriers with passenger service between the United States to Japan. Others have expressed interest in starting service, including American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
Yasuhiro Nakamura, an All Nippon’s spokesman, said the airline’s flights to Washington would be the first nonstop flights to the U.S. capital from Japan by any carrier. At present, only Northwest flies between Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but via Chicago.
In another aviation development between the two countries, Airborne Express, a U.S. air freight carrier, has announced a joint service agreement with one of Japan’s largest freight forwarders.
Under terms of the agreement with Fukuyama Transportation Co. Ltd., Airborne will handle all outbound air cargo generated by Fukuyama. The Japanese company will provide delivery service throughout Japan for inbound Airborne shipments.