A freighter of U.S. cargo carrier Kalitta Air arrives at Narita Airport on Aug. 2 in a code-share flight with Japan Airlines Co. It is the first service by the Japanese carrier in nine years. JAL and other airport staff welcomed the arrival of the freighter. (Video by Atsuo Negishi)

Japan Airlines Co.’s regular cargo service is back in the air after a nine-year hiatus, with the first freighter arriving at Narita Airport from Chicago on Aug. 2.

About 30 JAL and other employees welcomed and waved to the Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet, which bore the Japanese carrier’s signature red crane logo, as it taxied to a tarmac after landing shortly before 7 p.m.

The code-share flight with U.S. Kalitta Air, an air freight carrier, transported 60 tons of cargo, including vehicles, automotive parts and cosmetic products.

The code-share cargo service will be flown between Narita and Chicago three times a week.

“Narita Airport is a hub for air cargo freighters in Asia,” said Hiroo Iwakoshi, a JAL executive officer in charge of cargo and mail. “We expect demand for cargo service will continue.”

When JAL filed for bankruptcy in 2010, it discontinued its 32 regular freight service flights to 26 cities around the world and jettisoned all nine of its cargo planes.

JAL continued in the air freight business by utilizing the cargo holds of its passenger airplanes and chartering a freighter when demand rose.

The company decided to resume regular service through code-share operations after it saw strong continuing demand for air cargo service between Asia and North America.

(This article was written by Yoshifumi Fukuda and Atsuo Negishi.)