More than 150 children from the Everett and Issaquah School Districts and the Seattle Japanese Language School led The Boeing Company's delivery celebration of Japan Airline's (JAL) 100th747.
The celebration commemorates the 30-year partnership between Japan Airlines and Boeing -- a relationship that has led JAL to becoming the world's largest operator of 747s. During the event, the students presented the new 747-400 with a traditional Japanese "tsunahiki" pulling-the-rope ceremony and a selection of Japanese and American songs.
Attending this milestone event were the Honorable Gary Locke, Washington State governor; the Honorable Yoshio Nomoto, consul general -- Japan Consulate in Seattle; Isao Kaneko, president -- Japan Airlines; and Alan Mulally, president -- Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Also in attendance were current and former Boeing, JAL and supplier representatives who have worked together to make the 747 a successful airplane program.
"The celebration of this airplane signifies not only the depth and strength of the relationship between Japan Airlines and Boeing, but also reflects the mutually beneficial relationship between Washington State and Japan, our state's No. 1 international trading partner," Locke commented.
The children presented JAL's 100th Boeing 747 against the backdrop of Japanese taiko drumming. The children then fanned out to form a living map of all the cities that enjoy JAL 747 service.
"This is a great celebration for us," Kaneko said. "We are very proud of the partnership that Japan Airlines and Boeing has had in the past and will continue to have in the future."
JAL's 100th 747 is a long-range 747-400 configured to carry 348 passengers -- 12 in first-class, 99 in business, and the remainder in the economy section. The carrier plans to use the airplane on international routes.
Throughout the time of its service, the JAL 747 fleet has operated close to 1.2 million flights, traveling over 2.3 billion miles and spending 5.09 million hours in the air.
Alan Mulally said, "The Boeing 747 continues to be the 'Queen of the Sky' because it answers our customers' demand for the lowest long-range seat-mile costs; flexibility; long-range, high capacity dominance; unmatched comfort options; and the ability to continually integrate new technology."