Japanese carrier ANA has announced that it will begin operating its new Airbus A380 aircraft in May of 2019. The carrier, which has an order of three A380s, has said that the aircraft will be used exclusively for its Tokyo to Honolulu routes, a popular route catering mainly to tourists.
ANA received the A380 orders after it went after slots owned at Tokyo-Haneda by Skymark, a Japanese low-cost carrier. ANA then received Airbus’ support as a creditor to assume control of Skymark after the carrier filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015.
Tokyo to Honolulu is one of ANA’s most popular routes, currently operated by the airline’s newest Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. ANA’s A380 service to Honolulu will complement its already thrice daily flights to the Hawaiian capital. ANA is also designing a new premier lounge in Honolulu which will feature direct boarding to the A380, a feature already in use by other carriers such as Emirates and British Airways in New York and San Francisco, respectively.
ANA’s A380s are to be outfitted with 520 seats, with eight first-class seats in the aircraft’s upper deck, 56 business class seats, 73 premium economy seats, and 383 economy seats. Around 60 economy seats in the aircraft’s lower deck will be debuted as “couch seats,” marketed as ANA COUCHii, which will have leg rests that can be raised to create a bed.
ANA is expected to receive its first A380 in March 2019, which will then be deployed to Honolulu that May. The carrier is anticipating delivery of its second A380 in July 2019. As the carrier is known for its interesting liveries, the carrier will be painting its three A380s in the tropical colors of “ANA Blue,” “Emerald Green,” and “Sunset Orange.” The liveries will also feature the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, also known as “honu.”
Tickets for the Tokyo to Honolulu A380 service will go on sale January 10.