A celebration was held Sunday at the San Diego International Airport to kick off the arrival of the first-ever nonstop flight offered from Tokyo to San Diego.
The San Diego County Airport Authority and Japan Airlines celebrated the historic, inaugural flight with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Terminal 2 East, Gate 23 beginning at 8:30 a.m.
The transpacific route is made possible via Japan Airlines’ revolutionary Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which is lighter and more efficient. It will now provide the first nonstop link between San Diego and Asia.
Sunday's ceremony wrapped up at 11:30 a.m. with the arrival of the flight from Japan.
This service from and to Tokyo will now be available regularly at Lindbergh Field.
“This historic new service connecting San Diego to Asia nonstop for the first time is being made possible by one of the world’s great carriers, Japan Airlines,” said Thella F. Bowens, President/CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, at the morning’s event. “We’re thrilled this service showcases one of the world’s most innovative and exciting new planes, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner -- truly a dream aircraft for the San Diego market!”
Until this flight, San Diego was the largest city in the U.S. without nonstop service to Asia.
For now, the flight will operate four times per week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday – until March 2, 2013, when it becomes a daily flight.
The 787 Dreamliner aircraft boasts 42 business-class seats and 144 economy seats, according to airport officials.