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The public is finally getting a date for the first commercial flight of ANA’s long awaited Airbus A380. The Japanese airline will start flying the super jumbo from Tokyo-Narita (NRT) to Honolulu (HNL) on May 24, 2019.
The aircraft will fly from Japan to Hawaii three times a week on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and ANA will increase service to 10x weekly starting July 1 when the second A380 enters service.
The A380 completed its first test flight in September, and ANA says it will be painted in mid-December in the Flying Honu turtle-inspired livery. The airline will take delivery of three A380s in total — it’s the first airline to receive the double-decker jet since Etihad took delivery of its first A380 in 2014.
The aircraft will feature four cabins, with eight first-class seats, 56 in business, 73 in premium economy and 383 in economy for a total capacity of 520 passengers. The entire upper deck is reserved for premium cabins while the lower deck is arranged solely for economy passengers.
Additionally the airline will be introducing the ANA Couchii, similar to Air New Zealand’s Sky Couch, these economy seats have extendable leg rests that convert the seats into a bed. ANA says Couchii passengers will receive a dedicated bed sheet, pillow and blanket set.
ANA will install first-class suites on its aircraft, which appear to be a similar to its current product on the 777.
Business class doesn’t seem too shabby either with all seats offering direct aisle access.
The airline is so invested in this route and premium service that it plans on building a special A380 lounge at Honolulu airport featuring separate entrances for premium passengers that connect directly to the upper deck of the aircraft.
A video tour of a computer rendered ANA A380, which you can watch here, showed off another unknown feature — rainbow mood lighting, a tip of the hat to the Rainbow State.
On top of that, the Hawaii route will receive unique service compared to other long-haul international routes. Premium economy passengers will receive elevated meal service and those in first class will “have their choice of food” from the Michelin star restaurant Noe at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu. An “exclusive blue Hawaii cocktail” will be served on the route, too.
Like ANA’s Star Wars themed aircraft, flight attendants on the A380 will wear special Flying Honu aprons and passengers will be served drinks in Flying Honu cups. The airline developed special amenity kits for business class in collaboration with Fred Segal.
First class passengers will enjoy newly designed amenity kits from Globe Trotter, an English luggage manufacturer.
It’s unclear what flight number the A380 flights will have, and it appears that ANA isn’t yet selling seats for the route. However, once the new product is ready, you’ll be able to book a seat with miles.
ANA is a Star Alliance member, so you can use United miles (Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner) or Avianca Lifemiles (Citi ThankYou and Amex Membership Rewards transfer partner). It also partners with Virgin Atlantic (transfer partners will Citi, Chase and Amex), and the award rates are one of the best deals in the points and miles game — it would only cost 70,000 Virgin miles round-trip in business or 90,000 in first class.
United’s rates are bit higher: 27,500 miles for a one-way economy award, 45,000 miles for business class and 55,000 miles in first.
H/T: One Mile At A Time
All images courtesy of ANA.
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