All Nippon Airways has launched Japan’s first commercial service employing an Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane, on its Tokyo Narita to Honolulu route.
“Since we launched service in Hawaii two decades ago, this route has been one of our most important routes,” said Shigeru Hattori, Senior Vice President of All Nippon Airways, The Americas. “In fact, it is our most popular resort route among Japanese travellers. With the growing interest in Japan among Hawaii’s travellers, we are excited to offer all travellers a unique experience that blends Japanese hospitality with a taste of the Islands.”
The 520-seat double-decker jet will initially make three round trips per week on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays departing from Narita airport, with the number increasing to 10 round trips per week from July 1, when a second A380 starts operating in June.
It made its first trip Friday.
The airline is planning to eventually operate three A380 aircraft. The plane, with a livery featuring Hawaiian Honu sea turtles, has “an overwhelming presence,” said ANA Holdings Inc. President and CEO Shinya Katanozaka.
The A380 has twice as many seats as the Boeing 787s currently used on ANA’s cash-cow Honolulu routes.
“It is a complicated but well-made plane equipped with multiple safety systems. I hope passengers will feel the atmosphere of Hawaii on board,” said Osamu Furukawa, a 55-year-old ANA captain and pilot instructor.
ANA’s first A380 aircraft is called the Sky Blue Flying Honu and the second one is named the Emerald Green Flying Honu, based on the colour of their exterior. The three A380 FLYING HONU aircraft are decorated with blue, green and orange sea turtles, inspired by Hawaii’s blue sky, ocean and sunset.
With the launch of the A380 service, ANA aims to increase its share of flights connecting Honolulu and its home market. It currently ranks third after Japan Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines.
Each aircraft offers First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class seats across two decks. In-flight menus for First Class passengers are produced in collaboration with Noe, an award-winning Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. Each menu will be overseen by the restaurant’s Michelin-starred Head Chef Ryo Takatsuka. The initial menu will be served from May 24, 2019, through the end of August 2019. Economy passengers will enjoy a special menu created in collaboration with bills Waikiki. In addition, ANA will offer an exclusive Blue Hawaii cocktail en route.