There have been repeated fears that the pandemic will be the end of the A380. Air France and Singapore Airlines rushed to retire all of their Superjumbos, while Lufthansa and Etihad put their Airbus A380s into long-term storage.
At the height of the pandemic, there was talk that Emirates would decommission up to half of its flagship A380 fleet, but these plans were not to be realized and the Superjumbo will remain an integral part of the Emirates fleet for years to come.
However, the future of the A380 remains uncertain with a number of airlines that have decided to “transfer” to to more economical and modern A350. At the same time, there were those who found a solution using the increase in passenger traffic on key routes. British Airways, Singapore and Qatar Airways have already returned some of their A380s to service, while Qantas will also resume A380 service soon.
The situation in Japan looks much more volatile. Foreign tourists are still banned from entering the country, and domestic citizens returning from abroad cannot avoid quarantine without three COVID-19 vaccinations.
However, this has not prevented travel-hungry Japanese tourists from visiting their favorite holiday destinations, in particular Hawaii.
In fact, prior to the pandemic, Tokyo-based ANA ordered three Airbus A380s exclusively for its Tokyo route — Honolulu. The first A380 arrived in March 2019 — it turns out that the planes flew only a year before the pandemic forced the suspension of the route, and the A380s were sent to storage.
Now they are back. From July 1, the “flying Honu”, as the A380 ANA is called, will return to the sky. The name is based on the distinctive livery design of the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, also known as Honu.
The first A380 to be delivered to ANA has a blue design, the second — green, and the third and final A380 is painted orange.
Last year, only 510,000 Japanese were able to leave the country, compared to 20 million before the pandemic.
In addition to Hawaii, ANA also plans to load flights to other favorite places on the planet, such as Los Angeles and New York.