I find the containerized cargo ability of the A320 overrated. The A320 uses a special ULD, the LD
-3-46, which is a cut down LD
-3 with contours on both sides. It is only loadable on A320s. The A320 cannot take regular height containers. Since most cargo is bound for international destinations, they would still have to bulk it or reload it into another container/pallet.
Also, JAL has been moving towards GE
as their preferred engine supplier. Except for the A-market 777s, 767-200s, early 767-300s, and classic 747s, JAL has chosen GE
to power their aircraft. The CFM is a joint venture between GE
The 737NG would not be like introducing a new type. For maintenance, yes, since it's systems are quite different from the classics. But for pilots, the type rating is the same as the classics and the screens can be configured to display information the same as the classics. There will only be a minimal differences course. The FA
's don't have to learn anything new, nor do the ramp workers.