ANA will become the first Japanese airline to fly the Airbus A380, with the Star Alliance member signing on the dotted line for three superjumbos due for delivery from 2018.
The double-decker jets, which represent a total list price order of US$1.3 billion, will be rostered onto the popular Tokyo-Hawaii route as part of a plan to expand ANA's international network.
ANA's order reportedly represents three of the six double-decker jets previously allocated to Japan's Skymark Airlines, which went bankrupt before it could take delivery of the jets in 2014.
The superjumbo that never flew
Skymark's A380 play called for an ambitious ‘all-premium’ seating plan married to low-cost fares to London and New York.
This includes an upper deck stacked with 114 business class seats, with 280 premium economy seats (shown below) lining the lower deck – but not an economy seat in sight.
Those premium economy seats where to be arranged in 2-3-2 layout with 40 inches of pitch, integrated leg rests for every passenger and shared AC power sockets.
The deal is an important win for Airbus, representing the A380's first new customer in three years.
Superjumbo orders have slowed as airlines lean towards fuel-efficient twin-engine jets such as the Boeing 787 – for which ANA was the global launch customer – the Airbus A350 and from 2020, the Boeing 777X.
Qantas has taken up only a dozen out of 20 ordered A380s, and there's little expectation within the industry that those remaining eight superjumbos will ever join the Flying Kangaroo's fleet.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.