All Nippon Airways is opening its Airbus A380 test flight for the public. ANA will lift the “Flying Honu” superjumbo for a 90-minute soar from Narita to Narita on August 22, 2020.
ANA said it was organizing the charter flight NH2030 in response to customers’ voice, particularly for the people who wanted to experience a sightseeing flight on an Airbus A380, as outlined in the company’s press release on July 22, 2020.
For a $467 to $130 (50,000 yen to 14,000 yen) fee, passengers could get a “feeling of Hawaii” as the flight would be accompanied by various perks such, including souvenirs and presents for passengers wearing Hawaiian (HA) clothes (i.e. Aloha shirts).
Yet the yearning for Hawaii is not the only reason, which motivates ANA to lift the double decker for a spin.
The Japanese carrier uses its two A380s exclusively for flights to Hawaii. Following the coronavirus outbreak, the airline suspended the route on March 25, 2020, grounding the superjumbo. To keep the grounded aircraft in airworthy condition, the airline still has to ensure both ground maintenance work and a test flight within a certain period of time. It is one of such test flights that ANA is now selling tickets to, killing two birds with one stone.
ANA has not specified which of its two A380s would be used for the task. The airline currently has the delivery of a third, and final, A380 pending. Previously, the handing over was planned in April 2020, as the airliner was due to begin service on the planned Hawaii route from June 2020. Due to the crisis, the delivery was postponed for, reportedly, about half a year, meaning that the third Flying Honu is unlikely to enter service in time for the flight.