The Japanese airline All Nippon Airways, (A.K.A.) ANA was a little late to order the A380. In fact, three years after their order was placed in 2016, Airbus announced that it would end the A380 program. It’s becoming slowly clear that COVID has had an impact on ANA’s Flight operations and its ability to use its new A380s. So what’s happening with the airline’s double-decked quad-jets? So here is a blog which tells about the future of the ANA’s ‘flying Honu.’
ANA’s order to Airbus was for three A380s. The aircraft was initially secured for a 2018 delivery. However, as it occasionally happens with aircraft orders and deliveries, there was a considerable delay.
In March 2019, the first ‘Flying Honu’ with its unique livery was delivered to ANA, with its new home at Tokyo Narita International Airport. This particular ‘Honu’ aircraft was Sky Blue.
The second A380 was coloured Emerald Green and was delivered to the airline in May 2019. At that time, Yutaka Ito, The Executive Vice President of ANA, had this to say of the delivery:
“With its visually distinct livery that evokes the folklore and traditions of Hawaii and the outstanding features of the A380, the beautiful Emerald Green FLYING HONU lives up to the ANA standard of excellence. We are ready to welcome the plane to Narita Airport so that we can begin operations.”
Both A380s were operating solely on the airline’s Tokyo-Narita to Honolulu route. However, this service was discontinued from March 25th, with the two jets restricted. This was due to travel bans and the decline in demand due to the coronavirus. The situation has not changed since then.
The story after COVID
The third and final A380 for ANA made its first flight from Hamburg, Germany, in March of 2020. Covered in ‘Sunset Orange,’ the jet would have been delivered to ANA shortly after this maiden flight. However, COVID-19 had an effect on the airline’s plans.
With the coronavirus situation quickly worsening throughout March, it was at the beginning of April that we found out about ANA’s plan to delay delivery of its third A380.
The original plan was actually to have the third A380 delivered in April, with commercial flights to begin in May. However, with Narita-Hawaii service suspended, there didn’t seem to be worth in taking delivery of a brand new, yet unusable, jet.
With nearly all airlines moving into ‘cost-savings’ and ‘cash-preservation’ modes, it seemed to make the most sense for ANA to delay the delivery of its aircraft. The delivery would be suspended for six months. With September being the sixth month after April
Where is the third A380?
So, where exactly is this jet? Registered as F-WWAL (for now, until officially delivered), this third A380 appears to be at Airbus’ facilities in Toulouse, France. So we shall have to wait and see what will happen to the ANA’s newest A380.