Facebook Group Charters A380 For Flight To Nowhere

Filed Under: ANA

I think it’s safe to say that this is the first time that a group has chartered the world’s largest plane to fly nowhere

ANA frequent flyers charter A380

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has in the past few months operated a couple of “flights to nowhere,” given the challenges otherwise associated with international travel at the moment. Another one of these will be happening on December 20, 2020, but with a twist, as reported by traicy.com.

There’s an independent Facebook group for ANA frequent flyers, which has around 22,000 members. With so many of the members desperately wanting to fly, the group approached ANA about chartering an A380 for a sightseeing flight… and that’s now going to become a reality.

This special flight will be operated by one of ANA’s “Flying Honu” A380s. The sightseeing flight will depart from Narita Airport and last for 90 minutes. Participants will be given a special certificate for the flight, souvenirs, and 380 miles. Furthermore, drinks will be served onboard.

For context, ANA has the smallest A380 fleet of any airline operating the aircraft type — it has two A380s, and then a third one that will be delivered soon. Before the pandemic, ANA exclusively flew A380s between Tokyo and Honolulu, though with current travel restrictions that route isn’t operating. As a result, these A380s have been grounded, with the exception of four short flights both taking off and landing at Narita Airport.

All Nippon Airways A380

How expensive are tickets?

Tickets for this ANA flight went on sale this past week and were available on a first come, first served basis. How much are tickets for this special flight to nowhere? ANA has four classes of service on the A380, and pricing is as follows:

  • 30K JPY (~287 USD) for economy
  • 50K JPY (~478USD) for premium economy
  • 70K JPY (~669 USD) for business class
  • 100K JPY (~956 USD) for first class

That pricing is roughly in line with what I’d expect for ANA to not take a loss on the experience, though it’s still quite steep when you consider that we’re just talking about a 90 minute flight.

Here’s a video from a past ANA flight to nowhere, which sure makes me miss Japan:

Bottom line

All Nippon Airways is continuing its practice of operating flights to nowhere. In this case an A380 is being chartered by a Facebook group, to give them a 90 might sightseeing flight around Tokyo.

Personally I prefer the concept of what Singapore Airlines did, where it operated an A380 as a restaurant on the ground rather than flying it. But I guess I also can’t blame people for their desire to fly during this time

So, like, anyone up for an OMAAT American Oasis 737 charter, or something?

  1. I assume they’re only selling window seats. Why have a “sightseeing” flight and sit in the middle section? Unless the sights you want to see are IFE.

    I guess for the experience of going to the airport and flying. That’s where we are I suppose.

  2. I can’t remember the date but my first plane ride was in the 1960’s when American Airlines introduced the 727 to the then “new” LGA. It was a big deal. Up the Hudson Valley and back. 90 minutes sounds about right.

  3. Genuinely curious – is there a limit of time that a plane can be grounded before it needs some sort of overhaul? In other words, do they have to get these grounded planes in the air at some point before it’s an issue, to “keep them warm”?

  4. I like flying but it’s usually because I’m going somewhere exciting. I would be disappointed to get on an A380 and fly only to end up at the same place I started 90 minutes later. I guess it’s not for me.

  5. @Peter, I am curious about the same thing but considering that many airlines parked their planes in warm and dry climate for a long time, they probably don’t need to be kept warm per se.

  6. @ Matt & Peter, be sure they have to move from time to time, to put the engines on running, the tyres need to roll from time to time (each tyre from an A380 costs around 40.000$ each, they have 22 of them) and besides, Pilots need to fly some hours to keep their licences. Not all Carriers have simulators to achieve that. Try to park your car for, let’s say 6 months without running, you will have for sure some issues. 😉

  7. Do these A380s have tailcams and/or nosecams? Again, I reiterate my deep desire to hop aboard a flying tortuga — is there anything more meta?

    I’m down for an Oasis charter, but only if there are Palmolive amenity kits.

  8. Air Canada in 2001 had a charity flight that flew over Niagara Falls and back to Toronto. It was on a hybrid Canadian Airlines/Air Canada 767 jet. It was a real pleasure to be able to be even on that short flight, experience a take off, flight over the Falls and back in Toronto. No smartphones at that time, just pics to enjoy.

    Not sure what significance of an OMAAT flight would be considering it isn’t even on an aircraft, leave alone it isn’t going anywhwre. Better things to watch on YouTube instead (wink). Even the grounded Singapore Airlines flight to nowhere would be good in comparison.

  9. Come to California if you have a need to take some cool flights. Ocean, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and mountain views can be had – depending on air quality, fires, riots, etc.

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