ANA’s First A380 Completes Maiden Test Flight
(Images credit to ANA)
The first of ANA’s three A380 aircraft has completed its maiden test flight in Toulouse, France. This aircraft will be painted in a blue “Flying Honu” (the Hawaiian word for sea turtle) theme and will bear named Lani (Hawaiian for the Sky). The other two aircraft will be decked in the same motif but in green and orange and named Kai (Hawaiian for the Sea) and Ka la (Hawaiian for the Sunset).
The aircraft names should give a big hint about the market that they will fly in, ie, Japan-Hawaii. This will also be the first A380 service to HNL and represent a significant increase in capacity in the Tokyo-Honolulu market. ANA’s move was certainly a contributing factor to Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines recently announced joint venture and it will be interesting to see what happens with United’s (ANA’s Star Alliance Partner) HNL-NRT flight.
Each of the aircraft is configured with 540 seats. Split among 8 First Class Seats, 56 Business Class Seats, 73 Premium Economy and 383 Economy Seats. ANA is also introducing their version of a Sky Couch (Air New Zealand) in the economy section.
ANA will be supporting the A380 operation in Honolulu by creating a new lounge with direct boarding to the aircraft (new gate C4). The lounge is projected to be completed in the spring of 2019 when the first service is to commence.