Japan Airlines (JAL) will retire all of its 13 B777s flown on domestic routes over the next three years as part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Japanese carrier’s domestic B777 fleet comprises four B777-300 aircraft and nine 777-200 aircraft.

JAL is also retiring some of its B777s used in its international network. The carrier says it is retiring six B777 aircraft flown on international routes by March 2021, and transitioning five of the aircraft to the domestic market. The airline says it will change the seating configuration to a domestic version. The airline operates two versions of the B777 aircraft – a domestic and international version.

The Japanese carrier recently also forecasted a record operating loss of 380 billion yen ($3.63 billion) for the year through March.

The carrier says “as strict travel and quarantine restrictions were imposed on a global scale” international passenger demand fell by 97.7 per cent. The airline adds that international passenger revenue was down by 96.6 per cent year-on-year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Demand for domestic travel began recovering in June and July after the lifting of the state of emergency in Japan, but demand declined once again in August due to a rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country, notes the airline. The airline says “demand has been a on recovery trend again” from September, however, the number of passengers is down 76.1 per ent and passenger revenue recorded is down 75.6 per cent year-on-year.

Rival Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) also recently announced plans to retire a number of B777 aircraft. The carrier is also launching a new low-cost airline.

ANA Group to launch new airline