ANA Launching A380 Flights To Honolulu As Of May 24, 2019

Filed Under: ANA

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is the only remaining airline that has the A380 on order but doesn’t yet have a single one of the aircraft in their fleet.

ANA only placed the order for the A380 in late 2015, and they really only did so under pressure, as Skymark had placed an order for the A380 but went bankrupt. In order for ANA to take over Skymark’s slots at Tokyo Haneda, they took over the order for the planes, since Airbus was one of Skymark’s creditors.

ANA has three A380s on order, and they’ll be taking delivery of the planes next year. While most airlines fly the A380 in major business markets, ANA will be flying their A380s in one of their most popular international leisure markets — between Tokyo Narita and Honolulu exclusively.

In April we learned the exact configuration of ANA’s A380. The planes will feature a total of 520 seats, including:

  • 8 first class seats
  • 56 business class seats
  • 73 premium economy seats
  • 383 economy seats, in a 3-4-3 configuration on the lower deck


ANA’s A380 seatmap


ANA’s A380 first class

They’re really putting a lot of emphasis on these new planes, as the airline is also building a special lounge at Honolulu Airport, which will offer direct boarding to the plane.


ANA’s new Honolulu Lounge

Well, if you want to book a flight on the ANA A380, we’re now even closer to this being a reality. ANA has revealed that they’ll begin flying the A380 between Tokyo Narita and Honolulu as of May 24, 2019.

The airline will initially operate the A380 3x weekly (departing Japan on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays), and then they’ll increase to 10x weekly flights as of July 1, 2019.

The airline currently flies twice daily from Tokyo Narita to Honolulu, so one of the flights will first get the A380, and then the other one. The Tokyo Haneda to Honolulu route won’t get the A380, since the airport isn’t capable of handling the plane.

That sounds great, since I was looking forward to trying to snag an award seat on the flight, in the event that they have award seats now but don’t once the A380 is put into service. Unfortunately I see virtually no award seats, so that’s not even an option.

First class is even more challenging, since the 787s don’t have first class.

So while I certainly hope that ANA has some first and business class award availability on the new route, I’m not holding my breath, given how popular the Honolulu route is.

If you want to learn more about what you can expect in terms of the onboard service, check out ANA’s press release. They talk about how they’re “unveiling comprehensive in-flight services” for the route. For example:

  • Those traveling in first class between May and August 2019 will have access to a special menu from “Noe,” the Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
  • ANA is upgrading their premium economy meals for the first time (usually it’s the same as in economy), so will offer better choices
  • A Blue Hawaii Cocktail will be served in all classes
  • Flight attendants will be wearing special Flying Honu aprons, and all drinks in economy will be served in special Flying Honu cups

Anyway, there’s nothing in the press release I find terribly interesting other than the exact dates, but there are a lot more details, if you’re interested.

Bottom line

ANA will begin commercial service with their A380s in May 2019, and you can expect the flight to formally be on sale with the A380 as of January 2019.

ANA’s A380 onboard product doesn’t actually look like that much of an upgrade compared to their other aircraft, though if you’re like me and want to fly every A380, that won’t stop you from getting on this flight. 😉

Now I just need to figure out how to do it, given the lack of award space.

(Tip of the hat to Jack)

Comments

  1. You’re right it is an extremely popular destination but I’m curious whether it will still be popular during the summer (given it’s warm/hot in Japan during that time.)
    I’m planning to be in Asia in late summer (August) so hopefully some award seats will be open then since just like you (and thanks to your blog), I’ve flown on every airline that operates an A380!

  2. hello
    ANA from NRT is twice ANA day.And from HND is once.
    A380 will be located only in NRT.
    HND cannot have capacity for A380 so far.
    I love ANA

    from JAPAN

  3. Haneda is not capable of handling the A380 – the expectation is that they will eventually discontinue the Haneda Honolulu route and shuffle the slots by a bit.

  4. I have a bunch of M&M miles so I’m hoping they will have some availability. ANA is usually wide open, but obviously this will be a special route.

  5. This is great. I launch a trip to Asia from HNL each year; would love to use ANA first class booked through Virgin on this… hope they have a little availability.

    @Lucky – you should look at more of Hawaiian’s long haul routes, they have some cool ones. As you know they are not the most amazing value… but I am flying flatbed direct from HNL to CTS (Sapporo) for 65k miles. Definitely worth 10k+ miles extra for the convenience of a direct flight like that.

  6. @Joey
    No need to worry. Visited Honolulu in January, March, June, November and December in the last two years, Japanese tourists (esp. in Waikiki) were as populous all the time.

    Meanwhile, I wonder how JAL’s daily KOA-NRT flight and HA’s 3-weekly KOA-HND flight are doing. From my 10+ times of visit to Hawaii, Kona seems to be the only place outside of O’ahu that’s been attracting Japanese tourists, but I’m not sure if it could sustain 10-weekly flights…

  7. To those saying that Haneda cannot handle the A380, can you provide a source? The one source I read indicated that it doesn’t allow A380 for daytime operations due to increase spacing required and resultant congestion. But that it could be used in the late night operations, which can work for flying to/from HNL.

  8. @Charles I think the issue is that they will only have 3x A380’s in their fleet, It would not make sense to have a single plane on the HND route and the other 2 at NRT. If an issue occurs, then since usually one of the planes is a spare, if one is in for maintenance or required checks

  9. @Charles
    Indeed that’s the reason why HND does not allow the A380. Also the wake that the A380 cause could hinder the operations at HND. This came to light when airlines like LH got slots at Haneda and transfered their flights there from Narita and consequently stop plying the A380.

    The A380 and B747-8 actually require the same amount of spacing (remember the drama of LH, EK launching A380 flights to Delhi, or was it India).
    Apparently the new Terminal could handle the A380. In October this year an A380 flew to Haneda for testing.

  10. @Charles @Sam Source below (in Japanese though). The fact that only runway C can handle the A380 (with a restriction of 8 flights during night time), and the spacing constraints make it difficult to handle A380 for now.
    https://www.aviationwire.jp/archives/125063
    And not to mention the already crowded ANA lounges until they move to the new Terminal 2. May be things will change a bit when the move happens, but at least it’s somewhat unlikely that people will change their mind when ANA receive their 3rd A380.

  11. With NH bringing 3 A380s in house, its obvious that one of them is going elsewhere. NRT-HNL eats up 1.5 frames of capacity per day.

    Perhaps a HKG, SIN turns would make sense and its already outfitted for premium routes… subbing on odd flights to LHR, LAX and JFK when demand could make it work. Not daily, but it could be very interesting, especially for marketing purposes. NH 380 will go to many places, watch.

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