On Monday, one of All Nippon Airways’ A380s took to the skies for the first time in nearly three months. The emerald green superjumbo took off from Tokyo Narita’s runway at 13:40 local time, did a lap in the air, and landed again 26 minutes later.
On the 89th day following its last flight, ANA’s Airbus A380, with registration number JA382A, once more got to taste air beneath its wings. Alas, it was a short and passenger-less ride. The 26 minutes in the air over Tokyo were operated solely for maintenance purposes.
Flight NH9058 departed from Narita’s parking station 191 at 13:24. It then took off from runway A at 13:40. It made a right, and then another right, taking it out over the Pacific Ocean. Following that, it turned right two more times and landed back on runway A at 14:06, 26 minutes after take-off. It then taxied back to parking station 191 from whence it came.
If the aircraft does not fly within 90 days, it becomes necessary to jack it up in order to maintain and rotate landing gears, etc. ANA told Japanese outlet Aviation Wire. Given that an A380 weighs 589 tons, a quick trip around the block may have been preferable.
It is unclear if it will be another 89 days until JA382A’s next flight, as ANA has yet to decide on resuming normal Tokyo-Hawaii operations.
Two out of three with the fleet
ANA has so far taken delivery of two out of three of the superjumbo. The plane that made the short leap today was the second to join the fleet. Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, ANA suspended all flights with its A380s on March 25th, just briefly after the aircraft in question had arrived from Honolulu.
The third A380 was supposed to enter service with ANA in April. However, due to the unparalleled decline in passenger demand, the carrier has asked Airbus to delay delivery until at least October this year.
Hawaiian themed liveries
The superjumbo has already been painted in the special Hawaiian-themed “FLYING HONU” livery that ANA has chosen for its double-deckers. Each of the three has as its spirit animal the sea turtle, but the vibrant colors set them apart from each other.
The first A380 to be delivered to ANA has been painted in vibrant blue to represent the sky over the islands. The second one, which operated today’s brief flight, is bright turquoise in honor of the emerald green sea, which surrounds them. The third, still waiting to join its fleet mates, is orange, drawing inspiration from the Hawaiian sunset.
The colorful liveries of ANA’s A380s are a joy to watch, both on the tarmac and in the air, and seldom has so much thoughtfulness gone into an aircraft’s purpose and destination. Hopefully, traffic will soon resume enough over the Pacific that the three vibrant superjumbo jets can operate their intended routes.
Simple Flying reached out to ANA for a comment on the flight but was yet to receive a reply at the time of publication.