Japanese airline lands test flight of new plane in Hawaii
HONOLULU (AP) — All Nippon Airways has completed a test flight of a new wide-body aircraft with its arrival in Hawaii.
The Japanese airline completed the first of two tests when the Airbus A380 “Flying Honu” touched down Wednesday at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, according to news reports.
The four-engine jet arrived from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport around 7:45 a.m., followed by a blessing ceremony for the aircraft that was painted to look like a giant turtle.
The test flight carried two pilots, three airline employees and three passengers from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, an equivalent of the Federal Aviation Administration.
The state Department of Transportation says it is “very happy” Hawaii’s largest airport is the 11th in the U.S. that is able to accommodate the double-decker planes, which will seat about 520 passengers.
“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, a transportation department spokesman.
The test was another step toward All Nippon Airways’ 2020 goal of doubling the number of seats on flights connecting Honolulu and Tokyo. The airline currently offers three daily flights between the cities on Boeing 787 aircraft, which carry 200 to 250 passengers.
Honu — Hawaii’s green sea turtle — was chosen for the aircraft’s name to symbolize “good fortune and prosperity” and the company’s support of Hawaii conservation efforts, the airline said.