Sections for the first A380 belonging to All Nippon Airways, Japan’s largest airline, have arrived in Toulouse for final assembly. It is the first of three A380s for ANA on order. This makes All Nippon Airways the first to have the A380 superjumbo in Japan.
Though ANA is the first Japanese airline to take the A380, it wasn’t the first to order the plane. Skymark was instead the first Japanese airline to order the A380, but the order was cancelled in 2014 shortly before Skymark filed for bankruptcy.
ANA reports that their A380s will have between 500 and 600 seats, and that there will be a first class cabin on the aircraft.
The final assembly is set to start next month, and it is scheduled to be delivered early in March of 2019. It will be operating the Tokyo-Honolulu route, replacing ANA’s current B787-9 on the same route.
This A380 will not be painted in the normal All Nippon Airways livery. Instead, it will be painted in a green sea turtle special livery. “Honu” refers to green sea turtle in Hawaii, so ANA will call its A380 fleet the “Flying Honu”. In addition, the green sea turtle is a symbol of good luck and prosperity. The livery was chosen as a winner of a livery contest held by ANA specifically for the first A380. The winner received two round-trip tickets on the A380 between Japan and Hawaii.
The Japan-Hawaii market is a highly competitive market. About 1.5 million Japanese travel to Hawaii annually. With the arrival of the world’s biggest passenger plane, ANA can transfer more passengers more efficiently and in great comfort all in a low cost. There are six other airlines flying between Japan and Hawaii, and AirAsia X has plans to launch flights between the two locations.
ANA ordered its A380s in 2016.
Feature Image from F. Lancelot/Airbus