Gov. David Ige and other VIPs welcomed the colorful A380 “Flying Honu” upon the completion of its second test flight, an important step in launching “superjumbo” service at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
They toured the double-decker aircraft, which is unique in that it offers in first economy couch seats that fold down into a family bed on any Japanese airline. The aircraft, which is painted to look like a turtle, also offers Japanese Toto washlets or bidet-style toilets in every restroom across the classes.
The VIPs also toured ANA’s new $5 million lounges, which are the only overseas lounges that ANA operates. The ANA suite lounge, which is only available to ANA’s first-class passengers, seats 70. Another ANA lounge, which also accommodates business class, premium economy and other select passengers, seats 300. That more spacious lounge, which is open to any traveler for a $40 fee, offers views of Diamond Head. There’s also a children’s play spot and room where mothers can nurse their babies.
The test flight puts the carrier on the path to its 2020 goal of doubling the number of its seats that connect Honolulu to Tokyo. ANA currently offers three daily flights connecting Honolulu and Tokyo on its Boeing 787 aircraft, which carry 200 to 250 passengers. Starting May 24, the carrier plans to add wide-body aircraft service four times weekly on its A380 aircraft, which will seat approximately 520 passengers. In July, ANA will add a second A380 to the Hawaii market and a third in July of 2020.
Ige said the state made $13 million in airport improvements so that A380 service could begin in Honolulu, which has become the 11th city airport in the U.S. that is equipped for the wide-body aircraft. By 2020, ANA’s new service is expected to bring an additional $285 million in economic impact to the state and as much as $30 million in tax revenue, Ige said.