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Topic: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-01-21 11:09:08 and read 23815 times.

The World's Highest-Density Twin-jet: HND-ITM on ANA 777-300


Intro
ANA's 777-300 - the world's highest-density twin-jet - and Osaka Itami Airport (ITM) are featured in part 5 of my Japan Trip Report series. All users who want to read more about the background of the tour (see report no.1) or want to have a look at the other parts only need to click here:
MUC To Nagoya: Finnair E170 & (Old) "New" A340 (by PlaneHunter Nov 15 2007 in Trip Reports)
Oddities & Okinawa: JTA 734 & JAL 744D(Domestic) (by PlaneHunter Dec 3 2007 in Trip Reports)
Rocketing To Tokyo: FUK-HND On JAL (ex-JAS) 777 (by PlaneHunter Dec 15 2007 in Trip Reports)
Kobe For 1 Hour: 767-Quickie On ANA & Skymark (by PlaneHunter Dec 31 2007 in Trip Reports)

Toyoko-Inn Haneda Otorii Honkan
After two nights it was time to say goodbye to the Toyoko-Inn Haneda in the early morning (see hotel rating in report no.4). Views from the room:









Friday, 02 November 2007
Tokyo (HND) - Osaka (ITM)
ANA - All Nippon Airways, NH019
10:00-11:05 (10:03-11:09)
Flying time: 00:50 (hrs)

Boeing 777-381
JA754A (s/n 172), delivered in 10/1998
Economy Seat 61J



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Photo © Jeroen Hribar - AirTeamImages
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Photo © Chi-Ping Chih




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Photo © Paul Spijkers
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Photo © Javier Guerrero - AirTeamImages




Fast Check-in
The shuttle bus ride to Haneda Airport took less than 10 minutes. There was also a group of young ladies in the bus - apparently JAL flight attendant trainees who had fun with learning aviation-related English words. We entered the same check-in area as I did the day before and didn't have to wait more than five minutes. Again a very kind welcome, a kind treatment and after three minutes we got our boarding passes. We didn't ask for a possible upgrade this time as we wanted to try the dense Eco seating on this bird. Pokemon characters help to check-in with kids:


Picture by Satchmo


We had plenty of time left so we stayed at the Terminal 1 observation deck for a while before returning to Terminal 2. No lines at the security checkpoint and the well-known friendly officers again - this time bowing and smiling happily after receiving my belt for a check...

The 524-Seat Twin-jet: World Record
Gate 62 was used for our service to Itami today, just a short walk from gate 59 I had had for the Kobe flight. As planned, a 777-300 was being prepared at the gate. JA754A is one of seven 777-300 (non-ER) in the ANA fleet - all of them equipped with 524 seats (C21Y503). That's the world's highest density configuration on a twin-jet.




Flight information chart:


Picture by Satchmo


"Thank you for Boarding"
The gate was packed with business travellers who quickly went in line after boarding was started. We waited for a while and just when I was ready to hand out my boarding pass, an ANA agent signaled I should wait - one of the ANA premium pax heading to the entry had the precedence. Then, very friendly F/As welcomed us on board, this time even saying: "Thank you for boarding".  Smile

Cabin Comfort & IFE
By walking through the cabin I estimated the load at some 70-80 percent. Overhead screens were used for front camera views (takeoff and landing) and TV features, headphones were available for audio features. Cabin in 3-4-3 configuration (taken later in the flight):


Picture by Satchmo


Old-style standard seats on the 777 - in contrast to the new slimline seats on the 767:




Seat pitch absolutely sufficient for that short flight - I didn't feel cramped at all:




Powerful Takeoff
JA754A was pushed back three minutes after 10:00, with sister-ship JA753A parked on the right:




We entered runway 34R eleven minutes later and JA754A started its powerful and short takeoff roll. This time we were adequately seated on the right side for the sharp right turn:






Not surprisingly, the 777 climbed quickly to cruise altitude. Thick clouds under a beautiful blue sky:




Drink Service
I ordered a tasty coffee with extra sugar - exactly what you need for a long spotting day.  Wink




Approach
After some 35 minutes in the air we already started descending, passing through the clouds...




...and "diving" into an impressive "sea of houses" for landing at an airport completely surrounded by residential areas:




Picture by Satchmo




Picture by Satchmo




We touched down at runway 34L and arrived at the gate at 11:09 - four minutes behind schedule.  Wink
Wingtip check by a ramper:





Osaka-Itami Airport
Even though the airport is officially designated as "Osaka International Airport", the scheduled air traffic is entirely domestic. Kansai International Airport took over Osaka's international traffic when it opened in 1994. Both Kansai (27 miles away) and Kobe Airport (16 miles away) are competitors for domestic traffic.
The area around ITM is densely populated which has resulted in protests against the airport over the years. In 1981 the Japanese Supreme Court of Japan ordered the government to pay damages to residents and impose limits on operating hours. There were even plans to close the airport following the opening of Kansai, but the idea was dropped due to economic reasons. Effective from April 2006, aircraft with more than two engines have been banned by the government.

Spotting Facilities
With roughly 17 million passengers per year, ITM is not among the busiest airports in Japan. The variety of airlines and aircraft is limited, but it's a good place to catch the smaller types such as DHC-8-400s, CRJs or Saab 340s. However, what makes Itami such an enjoyable airport is the fantastic observation deck (free of charge). Many green spaces, small trees, colorful flowers and wooden planks provide for a special, somehow cozy atmosphere which you hardly find elsewhere.








Satchmo's and PlaneHunter's luggage and equipment - strategically placed next to drink vending machines. I can only recommend to try the Minute Maid grape juice.  Wink




The "ANA side"...




...with JA754A still parked at the gate...




...and the "JAL side" of the airport:




Food Plaza!
It's not just the observation deck itself which makes Itami so attractive in my opinion - I was also impressed by the wide range of restaurants, shops and an outstanding bakery in the terminal hall. What a giant food plaza! Here's what I bought at a restaurant and took to the observation deck: pieces of chicken breast, rice and fresh slices of ginger. Very tasty and rather cheap (some five Euro).  thumbsup 




Viewing Park
Taking pictures can be difficult with the facing sun in the afternoon, so Satchmo took a bus and moved over to the other side of the airport where you can also find a large viewing park.


Picture by Satchmo


Picture by Satchmo


Evening Hours
Traffic can be low sometimes but it gets more busy in the late afternoon. Here's JA754A again - being towed to its gate for a late afternoon departure to Haneda. Interestingly, it had been parked at a remote position all day after our arrival in the morning. Actually, no other 777-300 has arrived during our stay.




JA754A being prepared for takeoff under a pink sky:




An ANA 763 taking off during sunset - time to say goodbye for us:




Journey to Kansai
We bought tickets for the next available bus service to Kansai Airport and enjoyed a journey through Osaka's dense evening traffic. After some 90 minutes we arrived at Kansai, decided to buy a reasonably-priced box of Sushi for dinner and took the shuttle bus to the Kanku Hineno Station Hotel located on the mainland. Fresh and tasty Sushi:  thumbsup 




Conclusion
Flying ANA was a true pleasure again: friendly and efficient staff on the ground and in the air, clean cabin, sufficient seating comfort. I even got 417 M&M miles for that short (and cheapest available) flight - not bad considering that you only get 125 miles for similar LH short-haul flights. After finishing my series of Japan domestic flights I really can't say which is my favorite carrier - I would fly all of them again, ANA, JAL and Skymark. In the end it depends on the fare and the aircraft type...

Next report: KIX-HEL-MUC on Finnair MD-11 and A320


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: SESGDL
Posted 2008-01-21 11:16:07 and read 23791 times.

Great trip report, lovely pictures!

Jeremy

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2008-01-21 11:34:38 and read 23724 times.

Hey, PH,

another great story of your Japan series and great pix, too.

Thanx for the notice  Wink

It seems a trip to Japan is spotterwise real worth it.

Waiting for the return part on AY.

Best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: JAGflyer
Posted 2008-01-21 11:40:01 and read 23710 times.

Awesome trip report and photos. Looks like Japan's airports offer 2 things I really enjoy; watching airplanes and food (especially sushi!). I will need to go to Japan sometime... haha

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: Triple7man
Posted 2008-01-21 20:09:29 and read 23114 times.



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Effective from April 2006, aircraft with more than two engines have been banned by the government.

Wakarimasendeshita (I did not know that). The only time I flew into ITM was in April 2005 and I did see 747-400D's there.

I still go to HND a few times a year to fly to KIX or CTS. I also enjoy going there (and to NRT) just for spotting (and to fly AA to the US, and NH, TG or JL to BKK).

Thank you for your report. I will look forward to next one. Glad you were able to visit Japan.

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: The777Man
Posted 2008-01-21 23:23:09 and read 22970 times.

Great report PlaneHunter!

Been there myself on that observation deck but a long time ago; Sep97.

Take Care

The777Man

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: DALCE
Posted 2008-01-22 03:34:04 and read 22727 times.

Hi PH,

After a worthfull wait, we can now read your next episode!
Yet another great chapter of your Japan-trip! A great read with superb pictures!
I truly hope you had a great time overthere, and i'm looking forward to your return trip.

Thanks again for sharing!
Joost ( D-ALCE )

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-01-22 06:44:36 and read 22547 times.

Hello everyone, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 3):
watching airplanes and food (especially sushi!). I will need to go to Japan sometime...

10 out of 10 is my rating for both spotting and food - I can only recommend to visit Japan.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 2):
Waiting for the return part on AY.



Quoting Triple7man (Reply 4):
I will look forward to next one.



Quoting DALCE (Reply 6):
and i'm looking forward to your return trip.

I'll try to get that ready soon. Will be a long post...

Quoting Triple7man (Reply 4):
The only time I flew into ITM was in April 2005 and I did see 747-400D's there.

Good old days...

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
Been there myself on that observation deck but a long time ago; Sep97.

Did the observation deck already look the same back then?



PH

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: Airbuseric
Posted 2008-01-22 09:05:16 and read 22374 times.

Hi PH

thank you for this report on ANA. It was an interesting read for sure. Never been to ITM myself, but the observation deck and area near the runway seems indeed very enjoyable.
I might plan a Osaka visit to my next Japan trip, because it seems to offer plenty of good things  Wink

MfG,
Eric

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: LY777
Posted 2008-01-22 09:06:20 and read 22371 times.

great TR.
I wish I could fly once the 773/77W to see the loooong cabin

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: Caspritz78
Posted 2008-01-22 09:15:05 and read 22358 times.

Nice report. Great pictures. Really great to see that there are still countries where you can spot planes in a civilized way.

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: Avianca
Posted 2008-01-22 16:56:25 and read 22079 times.

very nice report! jeje the food seems really good  Smile

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: Luv2fly
Posted 2008-01-22 17:50:47 and read 22020 times.

Nice report and really enjoyed all of your photos, want to go and now I am hungry.

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: B747forever
Posted 2008-01-23 10:10:40 and read 21715 times.

Nice TR

The pics are really good,

That food looks just sooooooo tasty!!!  drool 



Thank you for sharing

B747forever

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2008-01-23 14:21:36 and read 21605 times.

Great report PH and a nice final installment of the Japan series.

I've been spotting to Japan twice though only to NRT & HND, your series has reinforced my need to visit other airports on my next visit, hoprefully 2009 - I know, too far away, but I'm getting married this year so holiday time and ££ is in short supply!

Look forward to the return TR.

Best Wishes

Mark

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: Lufthansa747
Posted 2008-01-24 04:54:12 and read 21357 times.

Another great report, superb photos as usual!

Too bad ITM is restricted to twinjets nowadays, that approach in the middle of the city was great on a 747... But it seems the 744D would be an overkill for even HND-ITM nowadays given you only saw "your" 777-300 there. I don't know if the Shinkansen is stealing many pax or what, but one would expect 777-300 only given HND-ITM used to be pretty much 74R only a few years ago.

Regards,

LH747

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-01-26 02:26:48 and read 21063 times.

Thanks for all your further comments!

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 8):
I might plan a Osaka visit to my next Japan trip, because it seems to offer plenty of good things

The food at ITM alone is worth it!  Wink

Quoting Caspritz78 (Reply 10):
Really great to see that there are still countries where you can spot planes in a civilized way.

Airports in Japan even want to attract people for spotting, knowing that not just passengers spend money.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
your series has reinforced my need to visit other airports on my next visit, hoprefully 2009 - I know, too far away, but I'm getting married this year so holiday time and ££ is in short supply!

Well, there are priorities! Japan is still great in 2009. Good luck with your marriage this year!

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 15):
But it seems the 744D would be an overkill for even HND-ITM nowadays given you only saw "your" 777-300 there. I don't know if the Shinkansen is stealing many pax or what, but one would expect 777-300 only given HND-ITM used to be pretty much 74R only a few years ago.

It was odd to see just one 773 all day. They are some early morning and evening services with that type and that's it. I guess it's the combo of Shinkansen, Kansai and Kobe stealing pax away from ITM.


PH

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: OA260
Posted 2008-01-26 05:30:52 and read 20978 times.

Very nice TR , I love the flight info Screen at the gate .

OA260

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-02-04 11:01:00 and read 20282 times.



Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
Very nice TR , I love the flight info Screen at the gate .

Thanks! Yes indeed, the info screens are great - they only need to add the registration.  Wink


PH

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: G-CIVP
Posted 2008-02-04 11:23:42 and read 20260 times.

PlaneHunter - a nice report. Question, at Itami, how do you get from the Terminal to the viewing park on the opposite site of the field?

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: JoshSixtySeven
Posted 2008-02-04 12:09:18 and read 20239 times.

"This is a security announcement; please do not leave your Pikachu unattended..."  Big grin

Great trip report, great pics.

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-02-08 13:21:58 and read 19943 times.

Thanks for your new replies!

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 19):
PlaneHunter - a nice report. Question, at Itami, how do you get from the Terminal to the viewing park on the opposite site of the field?

There's a bus line leaving from the terminal.

Quoting JoshSixtySeven (Reply 20):
"This is a security announcement; please do not leave your Pikachu unattended..."

 Big grin


PH

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: Sabena332
Posted 2008-02-12 10:26:30 and read 19594 times.

Another fantastic report, reading and watching the pics was a pleasure.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
JA754A is one of seven 777-300 (non-ER) in the ANA fleet - all of them equipped with 524 seats (C21Y503).

 Wow!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...and "diving" into an impressive "sea of houses" for landing at an airport completely surrounded by residential areas

Awesome picture. I simply love approaches over city centers.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, what makes Itami such an enjoyable airport is the fantastic observation deck (free of charge). Many green spaces, small trees, colorful flowers and wooden planks provide for a special, somehow cozy atmosphere which you hardly find elsewhere.

Never saw an observation deck like this before, looks indeed very cozy!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
Thanks! Yes indeed, the info screens are great - they only need to add the registration.

Reminds me of Sunday night, Seb and me flew MUC-CGN after watching the football game there, we couldn't see the registration on the plane because it was already dark outside. An info-screen with the reg # on display would solve such a problem.

Now I am off to read the last part of your report series.

Patrick

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2008-02-15 12:08:19 and read 19299 times.



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 22):
Another fantastic report, reading and watching the pics was a pleasure.

Thanks!

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 22):
Reminds me of Sunday night, Seb and me flew MUC-CGN after watching the football game there, we couldn't see the registration on the plane because it was already dark outside. An info-screen with the reg # on display would solve such a problem.

Or better - why not get an info page incl. the reg on the PTV inflight?  Wink


PH

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: SR117
Posted 2010-11-25 23:44:38 and read 15894 times.

Beautiful work on this Japan series of reports. It's impressive to see top notch service as the norm on all flights with all carriers eh?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Flight information chart:

I found the "servicing" remark very curious, I guess it's good to know your plane is being readied for departure.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The area around ITM is densely populated which has resulted in protests against the airport over the years. In 1981 the Japanese Supreme Court of Japan ordered the government to pay damages to residents and impose limits on operating hours. There were even plans to close the airport following the opening of Kansai, but the idea was dropped due to economic reasons. Effective from April 2006, aircraft with more than two engines have been banned by the government.

This makes a good example of "damned if you do, damned if you don't", first residents hate Itami, and then residents don't want the jobs created by Itami to go away. As an enthusiast of course I like airports and it is nice to walk around parts of Osaka and see airplanes approaching ITM, it is certainly closer than KIX for many residents wanting to fly on domestic trips, but for all practical purposes that airport should be closed and all traffic concentrated at KIX, Kansai isn't really that far from downtown Osaka either, you can reach Namba in 30 minutes and Kyoto in 90 minutes with the Haruka. Closing ITM would finally mean proper domestic connections at KIX. Let's see who wins the political game.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Food Plaza!
It's not just the observation deck itself which makes Itami so attractive in my opinion - I was also impressed by the wide range of restaurants, shops and an outstanding bakery in the terminal hall. What a giant food plaza! Here's what I bought at a restaurant and took to the observation deck: pieces of chicken breast, rice and fresh slices of ginger. Very tasty and rather cheap (some five Euro). thumbsup

What an awesome terrace ! Wish I would have taken a look, but traffic just seemed too light and I didn't have much time. That chicken and rice looks delicious btw, and so cheap too.

The park in front of the runways looks pretty nice as well.

Thanks again for the nice series, hope to see version 2 in the future : )

Ricardo

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-11-27 06:40:15 and read 14774 times.

Quoting SR117 (Reply 24):
Beautiful work on this Japan series of reports.

Many thanks, Ricardo!

Quoting SR117 (Reply 24):
It's impressive to see top notch service as the norm on all flights with all carriers eh?

  

Quoting SR117 (Reply 24):
Let's see who wins the political game.

Yes, will be interesting to see what happens.

Quoting SR117 (Reply 24):
What an awesome terrace ! Wish I would have taken a look, but traffic just seemed too light and I didn't have much time.

It's indeed a great place. Of course ITM is not as busy as some other airports, but you can get planes which don't operate to the large gateways.


PH

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: MSS658
Posted 2010-11-28 11:50:26 and read 14196 times.

Another interesting trip report series. It makes me want to go to Japan myself  .

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-11-29 11:21:00 and read 13800 times.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 26):
Another interesting trip report series. It makes me want to go to Japan myself

Thanks for your feedback! I can only recommend to visit Japan!


PH

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: Tinosky
Posted 2010-11-29 14:47:25 and read 13603 times.

Amazing report! reminded me of my travels to Japan in September 2010,

cheers!,

Tino~

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: cpd
Posted 2010-11-29 15:44:10 and read 13505 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Picture by Satchmo

Amazing spotting locations! If it were here, they'd put up thick plastic covers with tiny holes in them for people to take photos through... Even more amazing the facilities there too - vending machines and others.

I could definitely love Japan - if this is the kind of photo-ops available (well, I already love them for building the best camera I've ever used).

[Edited 2010-11-29 15:44:53]

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-12-02 08:01:04 and read 12212 times.

Quoting Tinosky (Reply 28):
Amazing report! reminded me of my travels to Japan in September 2010,

Thanks Tino, good to hear you liked it!

Quoting cpd (Reply 29):
Amazing spotting locations! If it were here, they'd put up thick plastic covers with tiny holes in them for people to take photos through... Even more amazing the facilities there too - vending machines and others.

Yes, the locations in Japan are excellent. I have never seen any better ones.


PH

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: kaitak
Posted 2010-12-03 10:21:35 and read 11776 times.

That's one airport I really need to go to again! I was there about 6 years ago and loved it, but never got around to the other side ... something I plan to correct! How easy is it to find the bus to the other side? Or can one take a taxi?

Topic: RE: The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-12-07 12:23:17 and read 11169 times.

Quoting kaitak (Reply 31):
How easy is it to find the bus to the other side? Or can one take a taxi?

It's quite easy to get there by bus. As far as I remember there is a description on a spotter website.


PH


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