Wow: Hi Fly’s Airbus A380 Circumnavigates The World In 34 Hours

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Hi Fly’s Airbus A380 has been flying a lot in the last few days. In fact, within the span of four days (May 14th to May 18th) and a total flight time of 33.75 hours, the superjumbo has managed to circumnavigate the world as part of humanitarian efforts related to COVID-19.

Hi Fly A380
Since purchasing it on the second-hand market, Hi Fly has made good use of its one and only Airbus A380. Photo: Hi Fly

From Beja to Beja

The journey for the wet-lease operator’s only Airbus A380 began on the evening of May 14th in Beja, Portugal. Flying to several destinations around the world, the journey ended back in Beja on May 18th. ‬Beja is a two-hour drive from the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon. The A380 doesn’t fly to Lisbon as the airport there is unable to adequately accommodate it.

The goal of this round-the-world trip was to have the A380, registration 9H-MIP, pick-up personal protective equipment (PPE) from Tianjin, China, and deliver it to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

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Over the four days, the superjumbo managed to cover 31,047 km. This was achieved with a flight time of 33 hours and 45 minutes. Given the location of the two stops, the A380 made a full circle around the world (sort of):

Hi Fly world tour A380
The A380 went from Portugal to China, China to the Dominican Republic, and then back to Portugal. Photo: Hi Fly

An important mission

Through regularly scheduled and special passenger service, the A380 has certainly been a part of many special and important journeys, including the rescue of stranded travelers. But this mission, flown by Hi Fly, has probably been one of the most high-profile special requests for an A380.

The purpose of this most recent mission was to bring vital PPE from China to the Dominican Republic. The mission was made more special as it marked the first-ever A380 to make an appearance in the Dominican.

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Hi Fly world tour A380
Pictured here is Hi Fly Vice President and Captain Carlos Mirpuri along with his Crew, at Beja Airport before departure. Photo: Hi Fly
Hi Fly world tour A380
Pictured here is the same team at the end of their round-the-world journey. Hi Fly is a Portuguese airline specializing in wet-lease arrangements. Photo: Hi Fly

During much of April, the aircraft was undergoing maintenance in the south of France. However, at the beginning of May, 9H-MIP returned to Hi Fly’s home in Beja. While the airline didn’t truly circumnavigate the globe (the first two flights took a ‘shortcut’ over the top), this Hi Fly journey was still impressive and important.

Conclusion

Hi Fly is a Portuguese airline that offers aircraft for wet lease worldwide. This includes short and longer-term leases to clients such as tour operators, governments, or companies. It operates a mixed Airbus fleet – with A321, A330, A340 (planned for retirement by 2022,) and one A380 aircraft.

Hi Fly’s A380 addition has raised some eyebrows in the past. This acquisition as made in 2018 from Singapore Airlines, which surprised many as other airlines have struggled to make this giant aircraft profitable.

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Do you think we’ll see more of these missions for Hi Fly’s A380? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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