HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Japanese airline All Nippon Airways completed the first of two test flights for its new Airbus A380 Flying Honu aircraft on Wednesday morning.
The double-decker, four-engine jet airliner arrived at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport at around 7:45 a.m., followed by a blessing ceremony for the aircraft.
“It’s very exciting,” said Hiroshi Shibata, general manager of ANA, who was in Honolulu for the arrival.
The state Department of Transportation said Hawaii is “very happy” to only be the 11th U.S. airport to be able to accommodate the double-decker planes.
“It is double-decker, you have to be able to have a jet bridge on the second and third levels of the plane, so two gates here in Honolulu are able to accommodate the A380,” said Tim Sakahara, spokesman for the DOT.
The aircraft — which will sport a blue Hawaiian green sea turtle — is expected to begin service from Honolulu to Tokyo on May 24. Ticket sales began on Jan. 10.
In total, ANA will be launching three aircraft — decorated with blue, green and orange sea turtles.
In addition to it being a double-decker airliner, another unique feature: The planes will include the very first couch seats offered by a Japanese airline. ANA COUCHii will be available in the Economy Class section on the main deck. Each seat will also come with its own bedding, making it ideal for family trips.
The airline says it chose the name honu because it’s believed that those who catch a glimpse of a honu “will be blessed with good fortune and prosperity.” In addition, it also symbolizes ANA’s support of conservation efforts in Hawaii.