HiFly is the first customer to lease the A380 on the secondhand market (it took the aircraft from Singapore Airlines) and, more significantly, it’s the first charter airline to have this plane. The carrier first showed their new A380 aircraft at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow, where the livery of the plane attracted the eyes of many as it has been painted in support of the Mirpuri Foundation’s “Save the Coral Reefs”.
The plane arrived for the first time in Portugal last Monday (23 of July). Until August 1, HiFly focused on training crew members, ground operations personnel, engineers, and maintenance teams to be ready for the A380’s first customer.
“Lisbon is an extremely congested airport and Beja is the best option because its where they are more comfortable,” HiFly said
“[This is] a historic moment for civil aviation as it is the first time that lands on the national soil an Airbus A380, a giant of the skies and the largest commercial plane in the world ever,” said Paulo Mirpuri, the President of HiFly.
Today, the plane will start a charter flight on behalf of Thomas Cook Scandinavia between Copenhagen, Denmark, and Larnaca, Cyprus. The A380, which has the tail number 9H-MIP, left Beja at 00:16 am and landed at CPH at 04:11.
The move is necessary because the A330 normally used for the Cyprus service was sent to Rhodes, Greece on Monday night instead of Copenhagen. Passengers deplaned following an airport-wide computer outage in Rhodes that snarled flights. The A330 (OY-VKI) returned to Stockholm from Rhodes the next day and reentered service for Thomas Cook Scandinavia, leaving the carrier without a sufficient aircraft to operate the Cyprus trip.
So while the flight was originally scheduled to be operated by an A321, it will be operated by an A380 instead.
FlightGlobal reports that, in regular service, the A380 will be used to fly between Oslo, Norway and Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands.
HiFly’s A380 has the same configuration that Singapore Airlines has on their A380s, with a total of 471 seats. This includes 12 first class seats, 60 business class seats, and 399 economy seats.
Featured image by Airbus