1954: An International Milestone for Japan’s Largest Airline

February 2, 1954

A major milestone for Japan Air Lines took place with the nighttime departure of its Douglas DC-6B plane known as City of Tokyo from Tokyo International Airport, also known as Haneda Airport, for a pioneering flight to Oakland Airport (renamed Oakland International Airport a few years later) in California.

Japan Air Lines (now designated as Japan Airlines) had been established in 1951 as a key part of the Japanese government’s plans to help the country not only survive but economically thrive in the aftermath of its devastating defeat in World War II just a few years earlier. This airline’s first regularly scheduled flight between the Greater Tokyo Area and the San Francisco Bay Area was seen as a pivotal stride towards the accomplishment of those plans.

Captain A.F. Ryan, who was originally from California, served as the pilot for that transpacific journey of City of Tokyo. There were at least 17 passengers on board the plane, which stopped en route at both Wake Island and Honolulu before landing at Oakland Airport on the night of February 4.

Nearly seven decades after that trailblazing international flight, Japan Airlines remains Japan’s flag carrier and largest airline. This airline now provides both scheduled and non-scheduled flights to a total of 35 countries across the globe.

(The above photo of another DC-6 plane in the Japan Air Lines fleet was taken at San Francisco International Airport in March 1954.)

Photo Credit: Bill Larkins (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)

For more information on the history of Japan Airlines, please check out https://www.jal.com/en/company/jal_history/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: