Love it or hate it, when an Airbus A380 is arriving at (or departing from) an airport, it grabs EVERYONE’S attention with it’s sheer size!
The Airbus A380 is the largest passenger plane in the world and it’s easy to spot this behemoth. It is the only “double-decker” plane in the world where the 2nd deck extends the length of the entire plane. The Boeing 747 is the another “double-decker” but the 2nd deck is considerably shorter and is characterized by the bulge at the front of the plane.
I’m willing to wager that if you’ve seen an A380 at an airport, it was likely an Emirates A380 (shown above). As of February 2019, Emirates has the largest number of A380’s with 109 in their fleet. Singapore Airlines, the second largest carrier of the A380, has 24 in its fleet.
Interestingly, Japan-based, All Nippon Airways (ANA) has the smallest fleet of A380’s. They took delivery of their first A380 yesterday and have two more arriving soon for a grand total of three. It’s a long story of how ANA came in possession of these A380’s but that’s another blog for another day.
ANA will operate the three planes, exclusively, on the popular Narita (NRT) – Honolulu (HNL) route.
ANA’S FIRST A380…SHE’S A BEAUTY!
As you can see from the photo above, the first A380 has a serious paint job! In fact, all three A380s will be painted in a special livery depicting sea turtles which are native to Hawaii. This particular livery is one of the most elaborate ever painted by Airbus. It took 21 days for the Airbus team to paint this plane using 16 different shades of blue.
Airbus released a video yesterday documenting the delivery ceremony of this modern marvel. It’s a long video (33 mins) so I recommend you fast-forward to the 29 minute mark and fall in love there.
The A380 is my favorite plane. I have flown out of my way, specifically, to fly on the A380. I absolutely LOVE this plane and I want to review it!
The airline will be launching A380 service as of May 24, 2019, with the following schedule:
Flight #NH184, NRT-HNL departing 8:20PM, arriving 8:40AM
Flight #NH183, HNL-NRT departing 11:30AM, arriving 3:00PM (+1 day)
From May 24 – June 30, 2019, the flight will be operated by the A380 on Tuesday, Friday, & Sunday. Then starting July 1, 2019, the flight will be operated by the A380 daily.
On July 1, 2019, ANA will add an additional A380 flight on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays with the following schedule:
Flight #NH182, NRT-HNL departing 9:35PM, arriving 10:10AM
Flight #NH181, HNL-NRT departing 12:45PM, arriving 4:00PM (+1 day)
The airplane looks awesome but here’s where it gets exciting…take a look at the first-class cabin….
INTERESTED IN REDEEMING MILES?
United Airlines also flies this route so when you search for availability, you’ll find plenty of Business Everyday Awards. Unfortunately, both, first and business saver space is limited at the moment. I was able to find a few scattered dates but expect more dates will be released as the departure dates get closer.
ANA is well-known for the amazing personal service and product so 85,000 + $49 for first class is not bad…but you know what’s better? Paying even less for the same ticket…
If you search for award availability through Avianca Lifemiles, you’ll see that you can sit in the same 1st class seat for 66,000 Lifemiles + $5.
The plane, the seat, the cost, and 9+ hours in luxury…yes, please!
I, personally, will be searching for award availability on the HNL-NRT route (instead of the NRT-HNL route) as it is a day flight. I prefer to fly during the day to get the full experience as opposed to sleeping through it on an overnight flight.
Although the HNL-NRT route is a popular route, ANA has A LOT of premium seats to fill. I imagine award availability will only increase from this point on. It’s just a waiting game until they release more space.
So who’s going to Hawaii (or Japan)? Have you ever flown on A380? How was your experience? Did the video make your heart beat increase too?