For part 1 of this story see: Wings of the New Japan: JAL's First Decade
To increase the 880’s appeal with airlines that required greater range capability, Convair developed the 880M model with increased fuel capacity, engine thrust and a heavier landing gear. JAL purchased 5 which began arriving in July 1961. By October all international services were operated by jets with the CV-880s flying to Bangkok, Okinawa, Singapore, Taipei and Hong Kong. The 880s also began operations on domestic servives to Sapporo and Fukuoka on September 25 and October 25 respectively.
Multi-stop routes were fairly standard during the 1960s and that enabled shorter range aircraft to sometimes travel great distances (Caravelles from South America to the USA for example). The CV-880s of Japan Air Lines were used on just such a route when they inaugurated the new 'Silk Road' southern route to London in October 1962. The service took in Calcutta, Karachi, Cairo, Rome and Frankfurt on its leisurely way to Heathrow. The service replaced a joint Air France service which had been flown with French aircraft and crews. The 880s lasted on the route for only a year when they were replaced by DC-8s.
The JAL Convair 880 fleet was destined to grow and JAL acquired three extra aircraft for a fleet of 8. These 3 extra units were all aircraft from the Capital Airlines order, which had not been taken up. It wasn't all plain flying for the 880s however as during their careers with JAL 3 were lost.
JAL's last 880 crash was yet another training incident, this time involving JA8028 on June 25, 1969 at Moses Lake Grant County Airport in Washington. I don't know what she was doing so far from home but the crash occured during a simulated engine out takeoff maneuver.
JAL's rise continued throughout the 1960s and the company made an important connection with a new manufacturer in 1965 when it received it's first Boeing 727-046, which entered service on August 1. The first 727s wore a variant of the CV-880 colours but by 1970 the 727s wore a modified livery for the airline with the new 'tsuru' crane logo placed on the tail. The 727s replaced the last of the piston-liners on domestic services and, including a pair of 727-089s, 14 would join the fleet in total. All but one would be received by the end of 1967 with the last, JA8327, not arriving until January 1969.
The 727s did their job but by 1970 JAL was in need of higher capacity aircraft to meet demand on domestic services. Huge 215 seat DC-8-61s began to arrive in 1970 and the fleet was augmented with most of Eastern Air Lines series 61s too. This allowed the replacement of both the CV-880s and most of the 727s. Nonetheless in 1972 the 727 did inaugurate a route between Niigata and the Soviet city of Khabarovsk. Since August 1972 JAL had been flying 384 seat Boeing 747-100s on domestic services but even these were surpassed from October 1973 when the first 747SR arrived. From April 1, 1974 they began operations on the Fukuoka and Sapporo trunk routes with seating increased to 498. This capacity was later raised to 528.
The move from DC-4s to Boeing 747s operating on domestic Japanese routes within a decade was an obvious sign of the massive growth of the Japanese economy and the rebirth of Japan itself. By the end of 1976 only two of the 727s remained in the fleet with the majority sold to Korean Air, Dan Air or Toa Domestic. The last two 727-046s ended service on December 29, 1987 with the last flight a charter between Guam and Kumamoto. In February 1988 they were sold and joined Evergreen International after they had been converted to freighters.
JA8030. Aviation Safety Network
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: