The first ANA A380 has rolled off of the assembly line in Toulouse.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) placed an order for 3 Airbus A380 aircraft in 2016. The order marks the first of the aircraft for ANA, but also for the nation of Japan. The airline will become the only Japanese superjumbo operator.
Tokyo to Hawaii
When ANA receives its A380s, it will replace three B787 aircraft used on the company’s Tokyo to Honolulu route. The company currently operates three flights a day from Tokyo to Honolulu. This is along with one codeshare flight operated by fellow Star Alliance member, United Airlines.
There are 13 flights a day on the Tokyo to Honolulu route, operated by 6 airlines. All of this means lots of competition, hence a need to provide the best service. In addition it shows that the route is clearly a high traffic, profitable long haul route. This is the type of route suited to the A380. Interestingly ANA’s three flights all leave within the space of two hours.
The A380 will have twice the number of seats of the B787 currently used on the route. With this in mind, ANA could use the aircraft to cut the number of flights down to 2 without losing any seat availability. The entire lower deck of the aircraft will be economy in a 3-4-3 configuration. Interestingly the last 7 rows of economy will be made of a new seat for the aircraft called COUCHii. The Couchii seats have slightly less room than the regular seats, however, there is a small addition to the seat which can fold up to turn the seats into a couch.
A New Livery
Each A380 operated by ANA will be painted in an individual livery. While the livery will be similar across the A380 fleet, each aircraft will have a different colour and name. The turtle themed “Honu” livery will come in blue representing Hawaii‘s sky, emerald green representing the Hawaiian sea, and Orange to represent the Hawaiian sunset.
A statement about the livery on ANA’s Japanese website reads:
The sea turtle familiarly nicknamed “Honu” in Hawaiian is considered a very sacred creature in Hawaii,
It is said that happiness and prosperity will come when you can see the sea turtle, and it is widely loved by the people of Hawaii. [We] Hope that happiness will visit customers traveling to Hawaii on this special painting machine,
We decided to nicknamed a special painting machine “FLYING HONU” which means “a flying sea turtle”.
— All Nippon Airways (@FlyANA_official) March 6, 2017
While no exact date has been given for the aircraft’s delivery to ANA, an Airbus press release stated “The first delivery is scheduled early in 2019”. Meanwhile, the ANA website says “From the spring of 2019, three FLYING HONUs [will be] introduced to the Tokyo-Honolulu route”. The first aircraft is currently undergoing ground tests before its first flight. Following this, it will be flown to Airbus Hamburg for painting and fitting.