ANA’s New A380 Cabins & Seatmap Revealed

Filed Under: ANA

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is the only remaining airline that has the A380 on order but hasn’t yet taken delivery of a single one of the planes. 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 will be taking delivery of three Airbus A380 aircraft, with the plane expected to enter service for the airline as of spring 2019. We’ve already known some of the details about the ANA A380s, including that they’ll be in a four cabin configuration, that they’ll be flown exclusively between Tokyo and Honolulu, and that at least one of them will feature a special livery.

Today ANA has revealed more details about their new A380s, including the cabin interiors we can expect, and much more. Let’s look at a few of the highlights:

All three ANA A380s will feature special liveries

The ANA special livery for the A380 was first revealed in March 2017, after a design contest. Initially we thought just one ANA A380 would feature a special livery, but now ANA has revealed that all three A380s will feature special liveries.

ANA has created a “character” for each aircraft. There will be:

  • A blue plane named “Lani,” meaning sky
  • An emerald green plane named “Kai,” meaning ocean
  • An orange plane named “Ka La,” meaning sunset

ANA A380 seat count & cabins

ANA’s A380s 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

The eight first class suites will be at the front of the upper deck, and will be in a 1-2-1 configuration. It looks like they’re making some minor updates compared to their old first class, as the center partition between seats will actually go down, so you can easily talk to the person seated next to you. The 777s will eventually be getting similar first class seats as well.

Then the 56 business class seats will be in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, also on the upper deck.

The 73 premium economy seats will be at the back of the upper deck, in a 2-3-2 configuration.

The 383 economy seats will be in a 3-4-3 configuration on the lower deck.

60 of these economy seats can be converted into “couch seats,” where a set of seats can be turned into a sleeping area

ANA’s decision with the A380s is fascinating on many levels. I realize Japan to Hawaii is a huge market, though it seems strange to me that they’re exclusively flying the A380 in this market, when these are typically considered to be pretty premium planes. For example, this marks the first time that ANA will offer a first class cabin to Hawaii.

Furthermore, it looks like ANA isn’t doing much at all to innovate their onboard product on the A380. They’re just making some very minor updates to all of their cabins, though there are no major changes, it looks like. The biggest innovation here perhaps is the introduction of the couch in economy.

I guess the lack of innovation overall isn’t surprising, since ANA doesn’t really have to offer some spectacularly good product in a leisure market. They’re the only airline offering first class between Japan and Hawaii, so that’s market share they get no matter what. Similarly, I think even in other cabins this will be the best way to fly between the islands.

ANA’s odd marketing campaign around A380

I’ve gotta be honest, I don’t understand many aspects of the marketing campaigns of Japanese and Korean Airlines. This is true across ANA, JAL, Asiana, and Korean Air.

For example, JAL’s onboard dining concept is called… BEDD. I feel like that might be a better name for their onboard sleeping amenities or something, no?

Asiana calls their business class “Business Smartium.” Smartium?

In this case, ANA explains their new marketing concept around the A380s and Hawaii:

ANA also created a new concept name called “ANA HAWAii.” By flipping the “ii” 180 degrees, it turns into two exclamation points. This symbolizes the numerous excitements that passengers are able to experience including cabin features, and promotions, as well as the grand opening of a new ANA Lounge at Honolulu Airport.

Only they don’t actually seem to be flipping the “ii” 180 degrees? For example, they’re referring to the economy couch as “ANA COUCHii.”

Bottom line

I’ve flown every A380 first class product in the world, and I’m very excited to try ANA’s new first class between Hawaii and Japan. While the A380 doesn’t seem like it will be revolutionary in terms of the onboard experience, ANA already offers an exceptional onboard experience, so presumably this will be even better.

ANA will operate the smallest A380 fleet of any airline with the plane, and they’re also taking a different approach than virtually every other airline has taken. They’ll operate the A380 exclusively on the ~3,800 mile flight between Tokyo and Honolulu, which isn’t even an especially long flight. A single plane should be able to operate the flight roundtrip every day, meaning we could see 3x daily A380 flights in the market.

We’re potentially within a year of ANA launching their A380 service, so here’s to hoping tickets go on sale soon, and that they have some award availability. Unfortunately there’s no way to make a “speculative” first class booking, since they don’t presently offer first class on the route.

Comments
  1. Looks like they fixed the biggest issue in F for those that travel primarily with a partner. The divider between the two middle seats looks significantly bigger. For NYC-Tokyo, I prefer JAL mostly for that reason in F. Even more important on a leisure route.

  2. The upended “ii” characters as exclamation points figure prominently in the promotional videos, such as here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMhkX1LCBl8
    I suppose the concept doesn’t lend itself as well to still images (although there are some promotional images with the exclamation points in a separate corner of the image)

  3. Welcome to the confusing world of Japlish and Konglish, Lucky.
    My personal favorite: I. SEOUL U. <- The official slogan of Seoul.

  4. “Engrish”, as it’s often called, leads to many head scratching moments for native English speakers.

    I’ll never forget the tag line Mitsubishi used in the 80s: “Sparkling Now! Car Plaza.”

  5. “ii” translates to something good so perhaps there is the meaning. But I have to agree the naming is very Japanese.

  6. It doesn’t surprise me that ANA isn’t putting much effort into their A380s. They took these planes more or less under duress, kicking and screaming. If they, or any other carrier, wanted A380s they would have ordered them long ago. To place them on an extremely low yield route like NRT-HNL is baffling. I wish them luck.

  7. 2 questions for you Lucky:

    1) What will be the best miles to use for F once this route does become bookable?

    2) Unrelated, it seems there is a J/F product which you have not yet flown. Aeroflot (operated by Rossiya) flies a 747 daily on the following routes: SIP-LED, SIP-VKO and the longest of them KHV-VKO. You can only book in J, though it seems you can select the F seats onboard. Would be a cool review.

  8. Some observations here:
    1. With different center divider design, will the window seats have benefits of having more open view of the windows?
    2. The business class is staggered, but in a different way from other NH planes. Now it gets “true” couple C-class seats.
    I also think A380 on TYO-HNL makes a ton of sense: frequency not really needed and this is a market where multiple planes depart with each about an hour apart.

  9. @Izz – awesome suggestion! I have, unsuccessfully, tried for a long time to find a review of these ex-Transaero B747 “imperial class”. Lucky – please try!

  10. The ignorance some of you seem to suffer from in terms of basic marketing concepts is appalling. Both Japan and Korea are considered high-context cultures which are quite different than low-context cultures such as the U.S. The flipping of the “ii” is quite intentional, whether Ben likes it or not… apparently they don’t teach marketing very well at his alma mater.

  11. Hate to nitpick, but for the business class seats, if youre going to offer a giant space on the aisle side (for laptop, food tray, or whatever else), why couldnt they at least have a decent size armrest on the middle side before the divider? I’d think taking 2 inches from the width of the outside armrest and give it to the middle and this whole thing is improved, but maybe its not that bad in person.

    I haven’t flown ANA, but this Biz looks like youd be competing for armspace when the divider was down (and worse when its up) which shouldnt be the case in J.

  12. It looks like they are also tweaking the business class product, in that there will be “honeymoon seats”, whereas their current staggered product is more like the 767 arrangement on AA or DL for example where all seats are somewhat spaced apart from each other. The new arrangement does make more sense for a leisure market (and especially a honeymoon market) though.

  13. @SQFirst except… the ii isn’t flipped. It is just ii and results in the same spelling of Hawaii either way. Calling an “i” an upside down “!” doesn’t make it so. Apparently, they didn’t teach reading comprehension or logic at your alma mater.
    Beside that, anything you learned in school about marketing is either wrong or irrelevant.
    Try it in the real world.

    Also, that color scheme in F is sexy. I wish someone would actually release something like that.

  14. Skymarks A380 become Emirates. ANA will get brand new ones. This what I saw with my own eays from my last tour at Airbus factory in Hamburg feb 2018.

  15. That seems like a crazy amount of capacity for one airline on NRT-HNL. 3x A380 daily?

  16. Read the ANA release itself. The best news is buried at the very end: ANA will be opening its own lounge at HNL.

  17. ANA is my favorite airline for economy class (even though I usually fly business class long-haul these days). I usually won’t eat airplane food in economy class, even on ultra-long haul flights (I will not eat for 14 hours), but I make an exception with ANA. They serve cold green tea instead of room temperature water, the bottled water they give you comes ice-cold and their Japanese meals are refreshing, light and taste great – perfect for flying. I don’t know why, but I love their blue “ANA” word mark livery too. Something about it just works!

  18. They’re def aiming for lower cost. That’ll be a pretty dense configuration for an a380. Obviously nowhere close to its theoretical max, but so many airlines operate with so few seats it makes me wonder why they even bother with 4 engines (looking at you, SG).

  19. Evolutionary not revolutionary, but all really good improvements!
    – Fixing the major issues with their first class seats.
    – Introducing honeymoon business class seats.
    – I flew the couch seats on Air New Zealand with my son, and it was great… but they only have them for the outer sets of 3 seats. ANA is also using them for the middle 4 seats, which would be a big improvement.
    – Ooh, what is this “multi-purpose room”?

  20. @Matt

    the “ii”s are flipped in various promotional videos and images on ANA’s website. The press release was simply mentioning the concept in terms of the marketing approach, rather than to illustrate it. Before you call people out on logic and comprehension, I strongly suggest engaging in the bare minimum of research.

  21. @Arnold

    In Japan, “multi-purpose” is usually used for “accessible” restrooms (for wheelchair users, etc.), along with suitability for tasks such as changing diapers.

  22. Is there any infrastructure to support the A380 at Honolulu? When I’ve been there recently there seems like there isn’t any space for an A380.

  23. I’m surprised they didn’t do a super high density configuration with lots of Y seats on both decks. Seems like they could do that since it is a pretty short flight. Are there limits on the max passenger capacity of an A380 that can’t be overcome?

  24. I feel like this is the very first time we see the count of premium eco seats outnumber the amount of business class ones on any plane and likewise any airline worldwide. It’ll be interesting to see if they can fill all those premium eco seats in the back of the bus and/ or if any airline is to follow that “trend” suit.

  25. @Izz

    SIP stands for Simferopol, Crimea. If Lucky flies there, he’ll have to say goodbye to visiting Ukraine. It would be one thing to do it in private, so that the Ukrainian authorities would not have a clue. But that’s not how Lucky flies.

  26. @Matt Please do yourself a favor and take a community college class on remedial English language and composition before attacking far more educated individuals. I was not the one who called the “ii” flipped but Ben simply cited it from ANA’s Marketing without clearly understanding it since he did write himself “I’ve gotta be honest, I don’t understand many aspects of the marketing campaigns of Japanese and Korean Airlines. This is true across ANA, JAL, Asiana, and Korean Air.”

    “ANA also created a new concept name called “ANA HAWAii.” By flipping the “ii” 180 degrees, it turns into two exclamation points. This symbolizes the numerous excitements that passengers are able to experience including cabin features, and promotions, as well as the grand opening of a new ANA Lounge at Honolulu Airport.”

  27. Japan to Honolulu is a PREMIUM leisure market, along with substantial business ties which translate to a fair amount of business traffic, more than most realize.

    Knowing how the Japanese are, these A380’s will suck up ALL the traffic based upon novelty alone. The Japanese always want to be “seen” and “status” and all of that nonsense, so will you want to ride a 767/330/777 or A380?.

    ANA knows their client base, and knows who will pay for F or at least redeem miles!

    People complain about the F seats on AA’s A321T’s and how they are not made readily available for upgrades. The AA A321T is also used as a marketing tool (this cabin makes money). Airlines do many strange things to compliment the whole.

    This is a mighty sword swipe against JL, and leaves all the others in the dust. NH will use the A380 in Japanese marketing the way BA used Concorde.

    Expect to see the A380 on other routes from time to time. It will probably show up at LAX, JFK and LHR sooner than later.

  28. @Jordan
    Great analysis. The only point I would argue is that NH has already defeated bankrupt JL in every possible ways so at this point, they are just going for the kill on the Hawaii market, haha.

  29. @grrizzly

    True 🙂 – I guess VKO-KHV should do the trick, it’s also the longest of the 3 routes.

    Lucky, a review on that would be cool!

  30. @SQFirst – Thanks….interesting.

    I’d like to add. NH seems to run TYO-HNL twice a day (2 red eye 789s) leaving with 90 mins of each other, 3 789s during Japan winter season. Their 789s feature 220-260ish seats, whereas the A380 is configured at 520!

    Unless I am missing some flights here, one A380 is added daily capacity. Where are those other 2 A380s going with that configuration?. ;-). No way is any airline going from less than 500 daily seats ow in one market to 1560!! Something more interesting is at play here.

  31. “They’re the only airline offering first class between Japan and Hawaii, so that’s market share they get no matter what.”

    not entirely true… there’s one other airline already flying an F cabin between NRT and HNL.

  32. @Arnold & @Ben Torode, it looks like the Multipurpose room isn’t an accessible lavatory. It’s simply, well, a multipurpose room with a sink, bench seat, and changing table. There’s a larger seatmap here: https://www.ana.co.jp/ja/jp/promotions/airbus380/

    What I find interesting and unfortunate is that the Couchii seats only have 32″ pitch as opposed to the 34″ throughout the rest of Economy. Also, the upper deck lavatory situation isn’t ideal, at least for Premium Economy. Best case for PY (but not for J) is that the 56 J + 73 PY share the 4 lavs between cabins, and PY gets their own extra one at the back. Or, they only get the lone lavatory at the rear and have to go downstairs if there’s a wait.

    @David, good catch! It’ll be nice to have a decent lounge at HNL, as long as it’s not catered at domestic ANA Lounge levels with just packaged snacks…

  33. @Him

    I’m going to guess that NRT-HNL is the 3rd busiest international route in The U.S. I put my money on LAX-LHR being 2nd.

  34. @Him

    Where did you see that stat? And is it passenger capacity or flight frequency?

    @archer528

    I can’t imagine even 3rd place. I’d say JFK-LHR, LAX-LHR, LGA-YYZ.

  35. Thanks for this article. Enjoyed reading it.
    Since i will be flying NRT-HNL in September 2019 and F for the first time, are there any differences between those 8 first class seats? I assume taking a single seat at the side would be the best choice?

    Thanks in advance.
    Cheers

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