TOKYO — All Nippon Airways, which launched its Dreamliner 787 San Jose-Tokyo service Friday with a massive media sendoff and a sold-out plane, is off to a “very good” start and looks to be 60 to 70 percent full on most days, an airline official said.
“The load-factor is good,” Masaki Yokai, the San Jose-based general manager of ANA’s northwestern region, said of flight NH1075.
Marc Casto, president of San Jose-based Casto travel, said ANA should be happy with its ticket sales so far, given it launched the service in January, a slow time for air travel.
The airline worried that the new flight would steal business from its daily route linking San Francisco International and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, Yokai said. So far, though, that does not seem to be the case, he added.
ANA, which can link Bay Area travelers to major cities across Asia through its Tokyo hub, is particularly interested in attracting Silicon Valley’s Indo-American and other business travelers who fly to India on is new San Jose route, Yokai said. The airline offers flights to Mumbai and Delhi.
“The more they learn about ANA, the more traffic we’ll get to India,” he said.
ANA hopes to expand its five-day-a-week San Jose-Tokyo route to a daily service in a few months. The expanded service depends on how quickly Boeing can roll new 787s off the assembly line. Boeing is working to double its 787 production to 10 jets a month to meet the demand of some 800 orders.
The 787 has been plagued with mishaps recently. The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday it was launching a “review” of problems with the aircraft, including an electrical fire and significant fuel leak on two separate Dreamliners operated by Japan Airlines. The eight airlines that have received the first 50 787s to roll off the assembly line, including launch customer ANA, continue to express support for the technologically advanced jet, which is 20 percent more fuel efficient than other jetliners.