Return Of The Giant? ANA Schedules Its Airbus A380s To Hawaii

Japanese carrier ANA has scheduled its Airbus A380s to fly to Hawaii for the first time in over a year. Aside from monthly flights to nowhere, the airline’s fleet of three double deck behemoths has remained firmly on the ground since the current aviation crisis kicked off.

ANA, Airbus A380, Honolulu
All Nippon Airways Airbus A380 fleet is set to return to Honolulu in August. Photo: Airbus

ANA had the smallest order for new Airbus A380 aircraft at just three. While many airlines had deployed the giant of the skies on multiple routes, the Japanese carrier had a different idea in mind. Its three Airbus A380s were intended to fly solely to Hawaii’s Honolulu from Tokyo Narita Airport.

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Back in the skies?

It seems as though the Airbus A380 is back in business with All Nippon. Two A380 rotations from Narita to Honolulu have been scheduled departing Tokyo on August 9th and 13th, with the return leg departing Honolulu the next day. According to flight schedules, the trips will operate as follows,

  • NH184 – Tokyo Narita (NRT) 20:10 – Honolulu (HNL) 08:45 – Airbus A380 – 7h35m
  • NH183 – Honolulu (HNL) 11:35 – Tokyo Narita (NRT) 14:50+1 – Airbus A380 – 8h15m
ANA, Airbus A380, Honolulu
The airline used its A380s for flights to nowhere since travel restrictions took Hawaii off the cards. Photo: Airbus

According to aeroTELEGRAPH, the airline had previously planned to operate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on these two dates, but demand was higher than expected. The A380 seats 520 in ANA’s configuration, compared to 246 on the 787-9. ANA also sells tickets on a daily codeshare flight between the two airports operated by partner airline United Airlines.

According to ANA, before the pandemic, Hawaii was the number one resort destination for Japanese travelers. The A380 allowed the airline to introduce first class to the route. In the summer of the 2018 financial year, ANA had a 15% share of the seats between Japan and Hawaii.

With three A380s operating double daily rotations, it had hoped to increase this by 10% to mean that ANA operated one in four seats between the two. Beyond the flights, the airline also invested in a unique departure lounge at its gate (C4 in Terminal 2) in Honolulu.

ANA, Airbus A380, Honolulu
So far, ANA has only taken physical delivery of two out of three Airbus A380s ordered. Photo: Airbus

Which A380s will be used?

As mentioned, ANA has a fleet of three Airbus A380 aircraft. With a reasonable degree of certainty, we know that it won’t be the airline’s orange A380 registered as JA383A. While Airbus lists the aircraft as delivered, it has only been delivered on paper. Unlike Etihad’s A350s that were sent to storage in Bordeaux, the ANA A380 remains in the care of Airbus.

This leaves the other two A380s, one painted in ANA blue and the other in emerald green to represent the Hawaiian sky and sea. ANA has used both aircraft for flights to nowhere since the A380 fleet was grounded. Most recently, JA381A completed a three and a half flight from Tokyo to Tokyo on May 23rd. Meanwhile, JA382A last flew on May 8th, with a one-and-a-half-hour flight from Tokyo to Tokyo.

Are you excited to see ANA’s Airbus A380s returning to transpacific duties? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!