A380 comeback at ANA: The flying turtles return

A380 comeback at ANA: The flying turtles return
Written by insideindyhomes

Japan’s largest airline ANA has three Airbus A380s in its fleet – brightly painted in the style of flying sea turtles. But thanks to Corona, the audience’s favorites were condemned to do nothing for far too long. This will soon come to an end.

ANA’s superjumbos are actually only in the fleet for one purpose: to fly vacation-ready Japanese from Tokyo to Hawaii. The A380s, called “Flying Honu”, were given colorful turtle liveries – in blue, turquoise and orange – and Hawaiian baptismal names for this occasion. The first machine went into regular service in April 2019, with the second following around three months later. But the use of the giants on the “race track” between Tokyo and Honolulu was short-lived. The corona pandemic vehemently put a stop to the operation, Hawaii was henceforth taboo for tourists – and the tires of ANA’s A380 were flat.


All Nippon Airways (ANA) “Flying Turtles” will soon be able to take off for Hawaii again.

Unemployed Turtles

The trio was not even complete at that time: the Japanese only took their final super jumbo home last October, after it had been parked at Airbus for months. But even after arriving in Tokyo, the third flying turtle, like her two sisters, had little to do. With the exception of a few “Flights to Nowhere,” for which tickets were also available for purchase, the “Flying Honus” spent most of their days as sleeping turtles at Tokyo’s Narita Airport. The third addition, the JA383A, for example, has only taken off once since it was delivered in October 2021.

The ANA-A380s are configured in a four class layout, with eight first class suites and seating for a total of 520 passengers.

Twice a week

But now ANA is finally bringing the three colorful A380s back to life. From July 1st, the airline announced today, an A380 will initially depart from Tokyo twice a week for Honolulu. Planned flight days are Friday and Saturday. A double-decker giant will leave Narita on Friday evening at 8:10 p.m. local time as flight NH184 and arrive at the destination airport at 7:35 a.m. local time the next morning. It then returns as NH183 from Honolulu at 11:35am, arriving in Tokyo at 2:50pm the next day (both local times).


ANA owns three “Flying Honu” A380s with Hawaiian names: the blue-painted “Lani” (sky), the turquoise “Kai” (ocean, photo), and the orange-red “Ka La” (sunset).

increase likely

ANA originally planned to fly its A380 twice a day to Hawaii instead of twice a week. Theoretically, a single aircraft would be sufficient for the rounds that have now been announced. However, it can be assumed that if demand increases, the frequencies will also continue to increase – especially since ANA wants to add daily flights to Hawaii from Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports to its program again from July 1st. In its announcement, the airline itself speaks of a “continuous resumption” of A380 operations.


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