Hi Fly’s New A380 Has A Cool Special Livery

Filed Under: Other Airlines

At the beginning of the month Hi Fly took delivery of their first Airbus A380, making them the first ever airline to acquire A380s on the secondhand market.

Hi Fly is a Portuguese aircraft leasing company, and last year they revealed that they’d be taking over two A380s from Singapore Airlines (this is because Singapore Airlines is retiring their first five A380s).

Since HI Fly is an aircraft leasing company, they operate flights on behalf of other airlines. As a result, they don’t really brand most of their planes. For example, last year I flew from Ponta Delgada to Lisbon on a Hi Fly A340. The flight was being operated on behalf of Azores Airlines, but the plane being used for the flight was a former Emirates A340. They chose an all white livery for the plane, which I found to be oddly cool.

Up until now we haven’t known how Hi Fly will paint their first A380. First the plane was temporarily painted in all white, which was presumably to remove Singapore Airlines’ branding.

My assumption was that Hi Fly would be painting the A380 in the Hi Fly livery, which was what they released renderings of.

As it turns out, that’s not the livery they chose for their first A380, though. A couple of days ago Hi Fly teased something on Twitter, as they wrote “a big cause requires a big messenger,” and they had a 12 second video showing pictures of some marine life.

We now know what they were referring to, thanks to some leaked pictures (rumor has it that the plane will be making its debut at the Farnborough Airshow shortly). Malcolm Bezzina shares a picture of Hi Fly’s first A380 in Malta, where it’s sporting a new ocean-themed livery. The tail reads “save the coral reef,” and there’s picture of all kinds of aquatic life on the fuselage.

I think the new livery is awesome, though I’m surprised they chose a special livery like this. With Hi Fly acquiring two A380s you’d think they’d want to promote their own brand (even if it’s just to airlines), but that’s not what they chose to do. Maybe they think this livery will be more memorable, and will get people Googling and talking when they’re at the airport and see the plane.

I’m curious to see how they paint their second A380.

What do you make of Hi Fly’s new ocean-themed A380?

  1. There’s so much bland and boring in airplane livery that even if I don’t aesthetically like an unusual design, I agree that it’s pretty cool to see something different.

  2. The plane does have the Hifly branding, although it’s very small and not visible on this picture. Much like the branding airlines use on Star Alliance livery planes.

    The livery is related to the Mirpuri foundation, created by the same family that owns the airline. Their motto is something like Together For a better world.

  3. Alex – It’s no more ironic than those who eat meat (I.e. almost everyone), possibly the most destructive environmental practice on the planet, pushing environmental causes.

  4. They should paint it like a whale, since that’s what it looks like. Then they could add “Save the Whale(jets)” to honor both the mammals and the A380

  5. “The livery is related to the Mirpuri foundation, created by the same family that owns the airline.”

    So this is probably some sort of tax write-off scam…

  6. @NG writes, “So this is probably some sort of tax write-off scam…”

    Let’s just ignore the fact that they are promoting something good.

    Painting an aircraft is a legitimate business expense for airlines, expenses can be offset against income, and then tax is paid on the net profit. OK sure, this paint job may cost a little more than plain white, so there will be slightly less profit and therefore slightly less tax paid.

    However, you may like to consider that whatever business that pays your salary also uses that as an expense to offset against income and therefore pay less tax.

    By your logic, your employment is a tax write-off scam. How do you sleep at night?

  7. @NG

    I would love to say you’re wrong but they have a past actually. They used to own another airline here in Portugal called Air Luxor. It was a charter airline. When it went belly up, their assets just disappeared in thin air and they didn’t pay 6 million euros in taxes. Also, they started Hifly before Air Luxor declared bankruptcy.

    Taxes are also the reason why they have Hifly Malta. The A380 has a maltese registration number…but of course, that’s not illegal.

    So yeah….their business hasn’t been the cleanest in the past.

  8. Really all I want to know is whether they’ll sell first class, which will double the number of airlines Ben still needs to fly F

  9. They must have gotten the plane VERY cheap… And even if it was for free, I still think they will lose money on it, with Singapore´s premium heavy config…

  10. HiFly’s ex-Emirates 340s, wet leased to Air NZ with just one ANZ cabin crew member per flight, have not gone down well as off-course substitutes for grounded 787-9s. Poor service and no premium economy for starters.

    I wonder if attitudes might improve if one of these was wheeled out as the off-course substitute?

    The paint job might have been done in Malta; there is considerable maintenance, repair and paint expertise there.

  11. “HiFly’s ex-Emirates 340s, wet leased to Air NZ with just one ANZ cabin crew member per flight, have not gone down well as off-course substitutes for grounded 787-9s. Poor service and no premium economy for starters.”

    Better economy seating though. I’m not sure why the crew members are substituted just because the original aircraft aren’t available.

  12. Mike – they are ‘wet leased’: aircraft, maintenance, insurance and crew. ANZ crew are not trained for the A340. The one ANZ cabin crew member assigned reportedly is to ensure a satisfactory standard of service is provided but not necessarily identical to ANZ’s. Not clear who contracts or supplies the catering.

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