On Thursday, December 13th, Airbus rolled-out All Nippon Airways’ (ANA’s) first Airbus A380 from its paint shop at Hamburg-Finkenwerder and presented the aircraft, ANA’s first of three A380s, to invited guests and the media.

Despite the unique and breath-taking choreography by Airbus employees (which featured live music, flags, and even blue smoke), the star of the day was “Lani.” “Lani” is the name of the livery this A380 is wearing. A giant blue sea turtle is painted on the entire length of the aircraft, making it the most colorful A380 to date.

According to Ralph Maurer, the Airbus’ Head of Multi-Programme Paint Center Hamburg, this is the most complex A380 painting Airbus has ever completed. As there were no existing decals for the livery, 120 painters had to use roughly 900 stencils in order to accomplish this challenging paint job. For comparison, standard liveries usually need a maximum of 150 stencils.

Airbus’ painters worked for 21 days and used over 3,000 liters of paint. Sixteen different shades of paint were used to achieve this stunning result.

The livery was the result of a competition held by ANA after the announcement of their A380 order. From over 2,000 submissions, the concept “Flying Honu,” depicting a Hawaiian sea turtle, won the competition. The livery will be painted on the two future aircraft as well, one in a green and another in a red scheme.  

ANA’s Airbus A380, to be delivered by the end of the first quarter of 2019, will have registration JA381A. It will operate flights from Tokyo-Narita to Honolulu, Hawaii, a popular leisure route. The aircraft accommodates 520 passengers with a 4-class configuration. Special Hawaiian-themed lounge, a kids zone at Tokyo Narita, and unique in-flight items like “FlyingHonu” cups, a “Hawaii Cocktail,” and suiting goodies for passengers in First, Business and Premium Economy class, the journey to and from Hawaii should be an event of a lifetime from the moment it starts on-board. The launch of the route is planned for spring 2019.

The route isn’t open exclusively to Japanese passengers. Nanako Murakami, EMEA Marketing & PR Manager, said European travelers could fly to Hawaii via Japan instead of via the USA. ANA serves several European destinations and has a number of code-share agreements with partners like Lufthansa and Swiss Airlines, giving passengers the opportunity to travel to Hawaii on an entirely new routing.

It’s worth congratulating All Nippon Airways on its very first A380, the first Airbus A380 in commercial service in Japan. 

We thank ANA & Airbus for the invitation to the spectacular event. All photos by the author.

Categories: Exclusive