Looks like you might get another chance to fly the legendary HiFly A380, as Norwegian has yet again leased the A380 to fly its London to New York route.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) December 22, 2018
Why is the HiFly A380 legendary?
The HiFly A380 has quite a reputation in the aviation industry because it is the first A380 that you can hire as a wet-lease aircraft. For those not in the know, a wet-lease is very different from a normal lease. Essentially, instead of just leasing the aircraft from a holding company, the airline will also be hiring pilots, crew, fuel, service and even an airline certificate. It is so comprehensive that you or I could just straight up hire the plane and operate a route, without any additional fees or costs.
However, it gets better.
This is the only A380 aircraft that you can hire in the world as a wet-lease (You can charter other A380s from other airlines) and as it used to be a Singapore plane, it comes as fully decked out with the amazing first class suites and an impressive business class.
This means you might turn up to fly on Norwegian, and instead of getting a premium economy seat, you are upgraded into a private first class suite. Not bad at all!
Why is Norwegian borrowing the A380?
As we mentioned before, Gatwick airport has just reopened following its drone crisis. This means there is quite a lot of passengers backlogged and waiting to fly away for the holidays.
To help clear the backlog, Norwegian has hired the HiFly A380. The A380 can carry around 150 more passengers than their normal Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
It will be flying the London Gatwick to JFK New York route and then returning tomorrow.
- DY7950 – 22nd – Gatwick to New York
- DI7951 – 23rd – New York to Gatwick
The flight is currently delayed at Gatwick Airport and will be departing very soon (and most likely has by the time you have read this).
If you really wanted to fly on this plane today, it would cost (roundtrip):
- $1640 for Premium Economy (and you can select the first class seats). Remember normal Singapore first class seats go for around $6-8,000 so its actually a bargin.
- $800 for Economy.
So far it seems Norwegian has only hired the plane for a single round trip (You can see our calculations here why it is crazy expensive for Norwegian to operate it), but its more than likely we will see it flying again real soon. Whether or not Norwegian will still be around remains to be seen.
What do you think? Will you pay that much to fly on the HiFly A380?