A Company You've Never Heard of Is Getting 2 A380s with Singapore Suites
Hi-Fly, a Portuguese company that's in the business of wet-leasing of aircraft, will be the newest operator of the Airbus A380 jumbo jet. The company tweeted earlier today that it's "taking delivery of its first A380."
Back in August, Hi-Fly said it would purchase two used A380s to supplement its fleet of A321s, A330s and A340s. Now, Flight Global is reporting that Hi-Fly will take delivery of the aircraft around the "middle of this year."
What makes the purchase even cooler is that Hi-Fly is actually buying two of Singapore Airlines' old aircraft, and they won't be changing the interior or seats. Singapore didn't renew its lease for five of its decade-old A380s — therefore giving Hi-Fly the opportunity to add to them to its fleet.
The aircraft will keep the same 471-seat configuration that Singapore installed, opting not to switch to a high-density layout to fit 560 passengers as previously reported. That means 60 business-class seats and 12 first-class suites. TPG reviewed Singapore Suites (the old version) and called it one of the best products in the sky.
On the aircraft's upper deck business class is laid out in a 1-2-1 style and received high marks from TPG's Zach Honig.
In addition to the first class suites, the lower deck will feature 399 economy seats in a 3-4-3 configuration.
"This acquisition has been part of our company's plans for a while," Hi Fly president Paulo Mirpuri told Flight Global. "It is a very proud moment for Hi Fly."
Because Hi-Fly is a wet-lease operator, it means that it will loan the aircraft to an airline, although it's unclear right now what airline that will be. For example, Azores Airlines is operating an Airbus A340 that's been wet-leased to them by Hi-Fly — and it's actually an old Emirates aircraft that features the Emirates' seats and interiors. Norwegian also had to temporarily replace its Boeing 787s with Hi-Fly A330s while the Dreamliners got their engines repaired.
Keep in mind that Hi-Fly is keeping just Singapore's hard product (i.e. the seats) — but the quality of amenities, food and service will all be at the mercy of whichever airline is actually flying the plane.
Hi-Fly said in August that it expected one A380 to be leased long-term while another would be contracted out on a seasonal basis to meet increased demand.
Singapore A380 Suite Tour