Star Alliance carrier ANA is introducing Airbus A380 service between Tokyo and Honolulu. They didn’t really want A380s, but it’s how they got Airbus’ support as a creditor to take over bankrupt Skymark.
ANA’s first A380 is currently in Hamburg, Germany. It completed final assembly in August. Taking these planes got ANA more slots at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.
This new Hawaii service will launch May 24 and they plan to cram in 520 seats which is the second densest A380 configuration, which makes sense for a purely leisure route. There will be:
- 8 first class
- 56 business class
- 73 premium economy
- 383 economy
ANA is going to offer a lounge in Honolulu with direct boarding onto the aircraft.
We’ve now learned more about the inflight product as well.
- Business class seats in the center of each row share an armrest “to better facilitate conversation between two passengers.” (cough)
- “[S]ome economy class seats can be joined to create a lie flat bed.”
Most importantly from my perspective is that it appears ANA will offer a new first class with doors. (Additional photo here.)
— FlightGlobal (@FlightGlobal) November 27, 2018
There’s a handle on these suite doors which would appear to slide and close. In contrast, ANA’s current first class seat is semi-enclosed but lacks doors for privacy.
I find the real highlight of ANA to be exceptional service, as well as their inflight food. Whether in business or first class I recommend the ramen.
If award availability opens for these flights you should be able to redeem 70,000 Virgin Atlantic miles roundtrip for business class or 90,000 for first. And of course Virgin is a transfer partner of American Express, Chase, and Citibank. United (Chase transfer partner) and Aeroplan (American Express) as well as ANA itself (American Express) can be used as well.