ANA Holdings Inc. is planning to buy three A380 superjumbo jets from Airbus S.A.S., becoming the first Japanese airline to introduce the aircraft, sources said Friday.
Based on the market price, the three A380 jets will cost ¥150 billion ($1.24 billion). The double-decker aircraft is the world’s largest passenger jet and can accommodate more than 500 passengers.
ANA will likely put the superjumbo jets to use in flights to and from Hawaii, which have seen brisk demand. By lowering transportation costs with the introduction of the new aircraft, the airline aims to challenge domestic rival Japan Airlines Co., the sources said.
Bankrupt carrier Skymark Airlines Inc. signed a contract with Airbus to buy six A380 superjumbos in 2011, but the European aircraft maker said in 2014 it would cancel the deal due to a delay in advance payments.
Skymark was slapped with a penalty fee and went bankrupt in January 2015.
ANA, which has invested in Skymark to support its rehabilitation, discussed with Airbus, a major Skymark creditor, future procurement of aircraft from the European firm.