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PB26
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Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 1:59 am

In the early Eighties, JAL operated a modified version of B747-200, which could fly NRT-JFK non-stop.

The company called 3 B747-200 as Executive Express, with just Business and First Class and, AFAIK, the 747 upper deck had beds for the First Class.

How was the services? Are there cabin photos or something more detailed about the Executive Express?

In the database, there are some pics of the plane, but not the cabin.



Obviusly, the service ended when the B747-400 could link Tokyo and NY with full payload.
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hoons90
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:13 am

According to Japanese Wikipedia, the service started in July 1983, initially with a config of F44 C128 Y114, which was modified to F44 C204 in June 1985.
The aircraft were JA8161, JA8162 and JA8169.
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StinkyPinky
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:51 am

I didn't know it was all F and J, cool fact.

Was it the same for JALs Big Ben Express? I flew the Hawaii Express as a child but don't recall anything out of the ordinary
 
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hongkongflyer
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:26 am

Same as SQ's 345 and 359ULR, trading seats (and weights) for range.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:33 am

hongkongflyer wrote:
Same as SQ's 345 and 359ULR, trading seats (and weights) for range.


We had the same thought. SQ’s NYC configurations sprung to my mind immediately. Various narrowbody efforts over the years as well, like Privatair’s scheduled services.
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Antarius
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:52 am

hongkongflyer wrote:
Same as SQ's 345 and 359ULR, trading seats (and weights) for range.


BA's LCY to JFK as well
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
argentinevol98
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:57 am

44F! Obviously a different time and a very different product marketed as F than today but still something that caught my attention as there is nothing flying with more than 11F seats today (if I am not mistaken). I'd imagine today's lie-flat J seats are probably an equal or superior hard product than the F seats in that era. 204C is also crazy to think about but I imagine the product was a bit more akin to today's W. Would I be right about that? (I wasn't round back then to be honest).
"He sospechado alguna vez que la única cosa sin misterio es la felicidad, porque se justifica por sí sola"-Jorge Luis Borges
 
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alancostello
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:00 am

argentinevol98 wrote:
44F! Obviously a different time and a very different product marketed as F than today but still something that caught my attention as there is nothing flying with more than 11F seats today (if I am not mistaken). I'd imagine today's lie-flat J seats are probably an equal or superior hard product than the F seats in that era. 204C is also crazy to think about but I imagine the product was a bit more akin to today's W. Would I be right about that? (I wasn't round back then to be honest).


Emirates and Qantas’ A380s have 14F, as do BA’s A380s, 747s, and some 777s
Last edited by alancostello on Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
B-HOP
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:01 am

Those aircraft were transferred to ORD afterwards after JFK received 744. Later on, one BKK flights usec those aircraft, 742 witf F, they also send them to HKG
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Tabito
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:13 am

PB26 wrote:
The company called 3 B747-200 as Executive Express, with just Business and First Class and, AFAIK, the 747 upper deck had beds for the First Class.


Standard configuration of Executive Express.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dxrl6kXVAAI95Qi?format=jpg&name=900x900

"Jumbo Jet to New York. 20 hours turnaround" Japanese TV documentary in 1983.
https://youtu.be/PYj82Ttiw2g
https://youtu.be/3MUyT9CIJzA
https://youtu.be/T9qBUwYIk5w
https://youtu.be/SOrufl6btz8
 
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Tabito
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:49 am

StinkyPinky wrote:
Was it the same for JALs Big Ben Express? I flew the Hawaii Express as a child but don't recall anything out of the ordinary


JAL introduced exclusive 747-400 (JA8087, JA8088, JA8090, JA8901) for NRT-JFK and NRT-LHR from 1992.
Called "Big Apple Express" and "Big Ben Express".


Latest Configuration
http://jaljal.ojaru.jp/JALSEATMAP/b747400l04.JPG

"Aloha Express" All Y class 747-200 (JA8149, JA8150) for HNL from 1981.
 
smi0006
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:25 am

44F how many cabin crew did they have?
 
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Arq
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:01 am

argentinevol98 wrote:
I'd imagine today's lie-flat J seats are probably an equal or superior hard product than the F seats in that era. 204C is also crazy to think about but I imagine the product was a bit more akin to today's W. Would I be right about that? (I wasn't round back then to be honest).


You are correct in this aspect. The lie flat first class is introduced in mid 1990 (Air France's L'Espace 180 and British Airways are among the first). Before that, First Class seat resemble a very thick and very wide armchair with lots of waste space (some offer legroom stretch down FIVE windows, but I don't think I can make that much use of the space anyway). I used to search for Pan Am early 747 business class configuration, and it's 2-4-2, exactly the same as SQ's W configuration in A380
 
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Tabito
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:24 am

smi0006 wrote:
44F how many cabin crew did they have?


6 cockpit crew and 20 cabin crew for J-51 (286 passengers) configuration.
 
cedarjet
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:30 pm

Antarius wrote:
BA's LCY to JFK as well

A318 is already an “SP”, route started without extra tanks but the intention was to fit them ASAP but in practice they simply aren’t needed.
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Antarius
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:44 pm

cedarjet wrote:
Antarius wrote:
BA's LCY to JFK as well

A318 is already an “SP”, route started without extra tanks but the intention was to fit them ASAP but in practice they simply aren’t needed.


Yes, but the aircraft is also payload restricted with 32 pax
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argentinevol98
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:15 pm

alancostello wrote:
Emirates and Qantas’ A380s have 14F, as do BA’s A380s, 747s, and some 777s


Ah you're right. Forgot about that. Nice catch. Thanks.
"He sospechado alguna vez que la única cosa sin misterio es la felicidad, porque se justifica por sí sola"-Jorge Luis Borges
 
argentinevol98
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:23 pm

Arq wrote:
You are correct in this aspect. The lie flat first class is introduced in mid 1990 (Air France's L'Espace 180 and British Airways are among the first). Before that, First Class seat resemble a very thick and very wide armchair with lots of waste space (some offer legroom stretch down FIVE windows, but I don't think I can make that much use of the space anyway). I used to search for Pan Am early 747 business class configuration, and it's 2-4-2, exactly the same as SQ's W configuration in A380


Thanks for nice response and good information!
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USAirALB
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:28 pm

Arq wrote:
argentinevol98 wrote:
I'd imagine today's lie-flat J seats are probably an equal or superior hard product than the F seats in that era. 204C is also crazy to think about but I imagine the product was a bit more akin to today's W. Would I be right about that? (I wasn't round back then to be honest).


You are correct in this aspect. The lie flat first class is introduced in mid 1990 (Air France's L'Espace 180 and British Airways are among the first). Before that, First Class seat resemble a very thick and very wide armchair with lots of waste space (some offer legroom stretch down FIVE windows, but I don't think I can make that much use of the space anyway). I used to search for Pan Am early 747 business class configuration, and it's 2-4-2, exactly the same as SQ's W configuration in A380

Didn't PAL once have a bed product as well on their upper decks? I recall seeing old ads that said they had approval for you to be in the lie flat position during taxi/take off and landing, and hence you didn't have to be awoken during stop-overs. I will try and find the ad.
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:07 pm

I remember the PAL 747 ads too, but I thought you had to be in the normal F seats downstairs for landings/takeoffs.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 5:57 pm

United Airlines operated a specially configured Boeing 747-200 on JFK-NRT for a time as well. In 1996, I flew it. The Conoisseur Class (United's Business Class Product was called that in the late 1980's to around 1999) cabin was larger, and Economy was smaller. All seats were recliners. The 742 was replaced with the 747-400 from January or February 1997, as I flew back from NRT on what was then a brand new, 2 month old 744. Even with the reduced cabin configuration on the 742, we had to make a fuel stop in Sapporo New Chitose, because of strong headwinds across the Pacific and a 40 minute slow crawl to the runway at JFK on departure.
 
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:26 pm

Always loved seeing these special JAL 747 at JFK, loved the Big Apple and Big Ben Express 744 that came later. Finally got to Tokyo in 2017 and 2019 in JAL's 777-300ER First Class. Now flown JAL three times all in First Class. A great airline, sadly I never got to one of those grand Executive Express or 744. Waiting to see what the JAL A350-1000 looks like on the inside.
 
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FlyCaledonian
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:59 pm

Tabito wrote:
PB26 wrote:
The company called 3 B747-200 as Executive Express, with just Business and First Class and, AFAIK, the 747 upper deck had beds for the First Class.


Standard configuration of Executive Express.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dxrl6kXVAAI95Qi?format=jpg&name=900x900

"Jumbo Jet to New York. 20 hours turnaround" Japanese TV documentary in 1983.
https://youtu.be/PYj82Ttiw2g
https://youtu.be/3MUyT9CIJzA
https://youtu.be/T9qBUwYIk5w
https://youtu.be/SOrufl6btz8

Toilet distribution seems off, even for a low density aircraft.
  • Two for 32 First Class passengers on the main deck (BA would have two for 18 Fist Class on the 747). Gives a ratio of 16 passengers per toilet. Plus with crew rest in the B section I assume crew would use these as well.
  • Four for 128 Business Class passengers. One toilet for 32 passengers is generous compared to normal economy but still feels high ratio for business class.
  • Six for 114 Economy Class passengers. One toilet per 19 passengers. So a much better ratio than Business Class.
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incitatus
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:36 am

At the time of these larger F and C cabins, many corporations had very different travel policies from today's. In the mid-90s I worked for one with the following policy: Flights 8-14 h, business class. Flights +14h, first class. You did not have to be top management to get this stuff.
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:49 am

USAirALB wrote:
Arq wrote:
argentinevol98 wrote:
I'd imagine today's lie-flat J seats are probably an equal or superior hard product than the F seats in that era. 204C is also crazy to think about but I imagine the product was a bit more akin to today's W. Would I be right about that? (I wasn't round back then to be honest).


You are correct in this aspect. The lie flat first class is introduced in mid 1990 (Air France's L'Espace 180 and British Airways are among the first). Before that, First Class seat resemble a very thick and very wide armchair with lots of waste space (some offer legroom stretch down FIVE windows, but I don't think I can make that much use of the space anyway). I used to search for Pan Am early 747 business class configuration, and it's 2-4-2, exactly the same as SQ's W configuration in A380

Didn't PAL once have a bed product as well on their upper decks? I recall seeing old ads that said they had approval for you to be in the lie flat position during taxi/take off and landing, and hence you didn't have to be awoken during stop-overs. I will try and find the ad.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/2399581 ... login=true

google PAL skybed and lots of vintage images show up. :)
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Toinou
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:17 pm

incitatus wrote:
At the time of these larger F and C cabins, many corporations had very different travel policies from today's. In the mid-90s I worked for one with the following policy: Flights 8-14 h, business class. Flights +14h, first class. You did not have to be top management to get this stuff.


That's interesting.

What was the cost ratio of economy, business and first? What is this ratio today?
 
vfw614
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:27 pm

hoons90 wrote:
According to Japanese Wikipedia, the service started in July 1983, initially with a config of F44 C128 Y114, which was modified to F44 C204 in June 1985.
The aircraft were JA8161, JA8162 and JA8169.


The fact that they were able to turn a C128Y114 configuration (242 pax) into an all-C configuration by only losing 38 seats capacity tells a lot about business class in those olden days.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:36 pm

What was the MTOW on these frames? Later on, United ordered two B742s just for JFK-NRT, just before the B744 was announced...and these were high-MTOW B742s at 378t (both still fly as freighters in the CIS today).
 
PB26
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Re: Questions about JAL's B747-200 Executive Express

Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:52 pm

Thanks guy for all the info and specially Tabito for the seat configuration and videos.
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