ANA make a splash with three turtle-themed A380s [NRT-HNL]

ANA make a splash with three turtle-themed A380s [NRT-HNL]

  • ANA will launch daily honu-themed flights from July 2019.
  • The Airbus A380 will feature COUCHii – the first Japanese airline to offer couch seats.
  • Named “flying honu” (meaning flying turtle), the 3 aircraft are inspired by the sky, sunset and ocean.

All Nippon Airways’ new honu-themed aircraft launched its first direct route between Honolulu and Tokyo in May 2019.

Its inaugural flight marks the first time a double-decker A380 has been deployed on regular service from Hawaii and is also the first commercial A380 service for a Japanese carrier.

Each aircraft will sport an iconic honu-theme inspired by the sky, sunset or ocean. Amazingly the new livery is the result of an aircraft design contest!  

The first A380 Flying Honu (meaning flying turtle) is a double-decker, four-engine jet airliner with a blue Hawaiian sea turtle displayed on the plane’s exterior.

ANA will phase in the remaining two turtle themed A380's featuring a Hawaiian sky theme and a sunset theme over the coming months.

ANA green plane
Kai: an emerald green design to reflect the colour of the Hawaiian ocean.

The details

The official honu-themes are:

  • Lani: A blue design of the Flying Honu to depict the Hawaiian sky.
  • Kai: An emerald green design of the Flying Honu to depict the Hawaiian ocean.
  • La: An orange design of the Flying Honu to depict the Hawaiian sunset.

The NRT-HNL route has a flight time of eight hours and 10 minutes. From June onwards there will be three flights per week. From July onwards there will be one flight per day with two flights on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

The honu-themed A380 has: 

  • 520 spacious seats across 2 decks
  • 8 First Class
  • 56 Business Class
  • 73 Premium Economy
  • 383 Economy 
Cabin layout and seating on ANA a380 on the NRT-HNL route
An impressive 520 seats spanning across two decks.

It’s believed the “flying honu” is a sacred creature and those who manage to catch a glimpse of one are said to be blessed with good fortune and prosperity. And, of course, ANA hope customers travelling on this new route will be blessed with good fortune.

Keeping in line with the honu-theme, there’s an exclusive blue Hawaii Cocktail available exclusively on the Honolulu route. Additionally, each cabin class will be equipped with a bar counter where passengers can help themselves to drinks and snacks.

ANA orange plane
La: an orange design to reflect the colours of the Hawaiian sunset.

Not all of the fun stuff happens up in the Business Class and First Class cabins because Economy Class passengers get the chance to book an ANA COUCHii — the very first couch seat to be offered by a Japanese airline. Available for an extra fee (depending on the number of users), it comprises three or four seats and has raisable leg rests, meaning that it converts into a bed. The COUCHii also comes with its own bedding. It's basically the same as Air New Zealand's Skycouch.

Special ANA Couchii Seats in Economy Class

Travellers flying Premium Economy, Business, or First Class can enjoy ANA’s new lounge in Honolulu International Airport (HNL). Two huge perks of the second-floor lounge space are the views of Diamond Head and the fact that passengers in Premium Economy and above can board the aircraft directly from the lounge, avoiding queuing with Economy passengers.

ANA blue plane
Lani: a blue design to reflect the colour of the Hawaiian sky.

How much will it cost?

Why does Japan get all the fun stuff? It might be faster and cheaper to fly direct non-stop from Australia to Hawaii, but wouldn't you rather start your holiday aboard a turtle-theme A380? There probably won’t be too many Aussies flying this route – but that doesn’t detract from how exciting this in-flight experience is.

For the vast majority of Aussie travellers there's no way to earn points into ANA's Mileage Club. But booking a Business or First Class seat on points can be done. Here's how:

Transfer your Amex rewards points to KrisFlyer and then search for Star Alliance flights on that Narita to Honolulu route. If that's you, it could be well worth it to use the points to take a trip of a lifetime – especially if your travel plans include Japan.