MIAMI — Just two weeks after coming out of the final assembly line in Toulouse, All Nippon Airways’ (ANA) first Airbus A380 has taken off on its maiden flight, later landing at the manufacturer’s factory in Hamburg.
This is the first of three A380s that ANA ordered in 2016, with the carrier now becoming the first ever operator of the type in Japan.
The plane will continue to undergo flight testing before it will be delivered in early 2019.
The airline has already confirmed that the A380 will be operated on the popular Tokyo – Honolulu route.
Special Hawaiian Liveries
The three A380s will be painted in special Hawaiian-themed liveries, known as ‘Flying Honu.’ These will feature three sea turtles, each with a different meaning and character name.
The blue character will be called ‘Lani’ meaning sky; the emerald green will be called ‘Kai’ meaning ocean; and the orange livery will be named ‘Lā’ from the Hawaiian word meaning sun.
The company has already announced that the A380s will continue to work alongside the current flights operated to Hawaii, announcing plans to increase the number of flights to the islands from seven to 14.
The Airbus A380 will be configured in a four-class cabin design, with 383 economy class seats, 73 premium economy, 56 business class seats and eight closed first class suites.
ANA has also added a new family-friendly multi-purpose room behind the main deck— a room where families can tend to their babies during the flight if need be.
The plane will also offer passengers, for the first time in Japan, the couch seat concept.
The couch is a concept where three or four seats are joined together, featuring fold-up footrests which will allow passengers to lie across them.
ANA has also confirmed that it will provide mattresses for further comfort.
To add to the passenger experience, the airline will be setting the lighting in the cabin to match the colors of Hawaii giving a relaxing feeling the moment they board.
ANA will become the 14th airline to operate the superjumbo. The European manufacturer has delivered 229 A380s since it entered service back in 2007.
It is unclear yet on how successful the A380 will be in the Japanese market, but as ANA continues to struggle with the engine issues on its Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the news that its first A380 is on its way to being delivered, is certainly positive news for the Japanese carrier.