HONOLULU – All Nippon Airways has completed a test flight of a new wide-body aircraft, which arrived in Hawaii on Wednesday.
The Japanese airline completed the first of two tests when the Airbus A380 “Flying Honu” touched down at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, according to news reports.
The four-engine jet, which is painted to look like a giant turtle, arrived from Narita International Airport in Tokyo at around 7:45 a.m. Its arrival was followed by a blessing ceremony.
The test flight carried two pilots, three airline employees and three passengers from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, a body that is equivalent to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The state Department of Transportation said it was “very happy” that Hawaii’s largest airport is the 11th in the U.S. able to accommodate the double-decker planes, which will seat about 520 passengers.
“It’s a 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.