Japan Airlines announced Feb. 15 that it will launch new nonstop service from Tokyo to San Diego International Airport in December, the first-ever nonstop flights between San Diego and Asia.

There will be four flights weekly from December through February, with daily service set to begin in March 2013.

The Tokyo-based airline said in a statement that flights will operate out of Narita International Airport in suburban Tokyo, using the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner fitted with executive and economy class cabins.

San Diego County travelers currently can access Asia only through direct flights offered at airports such as those in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“San Diego has the largest unserved U.S. passenger market to Asia, and thanks to Japan Airlines, these passengers are now linked nonstop to Asia,” said Thella F. Bowens, president and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, in a statement.

Japan Airlines said the new flights are part of a transpacific joint business agreement between JAL and American Airlines.

— Lou Hirsh