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ANA launches ‘superjumbo’ jet service between Honolulu and Tokyo

  • Video by Craig T. Kojima /

    All Nippon Airways began service between Honolulu and Tokyo Friday on its 520-seat A380 "Flying Honu."


    A 520-seat A380 “Flying Honu” at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, May 24, 2019, on its inaugural flight from Tokyo.

Honolulu became the 11th city airport in the nation to offer service on “superjumbo” jets when All Nippon Airways began service today on its 520-seat A380s, the world’s largest wide-body passenger jetliner.

The colorful Airbus A380 “Flying Honu” which is painted to look like a friendly turtle, retails for hundreds of millions of dollars and is approximately the length of a 20-story building.

ANA also ensured that the interior of the “Flying Honu” takes advantage of all that space even offering luxury touches at the economy and premium levels that they hope will appeal to leisure travelers in search of a better experience. It offers the first economy-class couch seats that fold down into a family bed. The aircraft also offers Japanese Toto washlets, or bidet-style toilets, in every restroom across the classes.

Passengers also have the opportunity in Honolulu to stop over in a highly upgraded lounge, the only overseas lounges operated by ANA. The ANA suite lounge, which is only available to ANA’s first-class passengers, seats 70. Another ANA lounge also accommodates business class, premium economy and other select passengers, and seats 300. The more spacious lounge is open to any traveler for a $40 fee and offers views of Diamond Head. There’s also a children’s play spot and a nursing room for mothers.

“ANA is pleased to present a new way of traveling between Hawaii and Tokyo. Once you are on board, I hope you can feel how we were inspired by the welcoming beauty of Hawaii,” said Shigeru “Sean” Hattori, ANA’s senior vice president of the Americas and general manager of New York.

The start of service puts ANA on the path toward achieving its 2020 goal of doubling the number of its seats that connect Honolulu and Tokyo. ANA currently offers three daily flights between those cities on its Boeing 787 aircraft, which carry 200 to 250 passengers. Starting today, the carrier adds service four times weekly on its A380 aircraft. ANA will add a second A380 to the Hawaii market in July and a third in July of 2020.

>> RELATED: View photos from the inaugural flight in gallery.

Gov. David Ige said the state made $13 million in airport improvements so A380 service could begin in Honolulu. By 2020, ANA’s new service is expected to bring an additional $285 million to the state economy and as much as $30 million in tax revenue, Ige said

“I’m excited. This day was four years in the making as we partnered with ANA to improve their service from Hawaii to Tokyo,” Ige said. “Mahalo for the partnership between the state of Hawaii and ANA.”

Ige also thanked the carrier for its community investments: support to beach clean-up organizations, bike sharing, reforestation to reduce carbon impacts and sponsoring a music festival.

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