Airbus received a big boost for its A380 program with a firm order for three of the superjumbos from Japan’s All Nippon Airways, the manufacturer and airline announced Friday. With the order, ANA becomes the first Japanese operator of the quadjet, orders for which had slowed to a trickle before this week’s earlier announcement that Iran Air would take 12. ANA has chosen Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines to power its fleet.
ANA said it plans to take delivery its A380s starting in its 2018 fiscal year, when the airline launches primarily tourist services between Tokyo and Hawaii as part of a strategy to expand seat capacity by 50 percent on international routes and expand the group’s fleet by 300 airplanes over the next five years.
“We are confident that the A380 will play an important role in the success of ANA HD’s new business strategy,” said Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Brégier. “The A380 will help ANA Group overcome capacity constraints at Tokyo’s busy airports, transporting more passengers, more efficiently and in greater comfort—all at lower cost.”
ANA’s new order follows a orders placed in 2014 and 2015 for 37 A320-family narrowbodies.
The order also signals ANA’s first non-Boeing widebody commitment. Its widebody fleet now consists of Boeing 767s, 777s and 787s. It also holds an order for 20 Boeing 777-9X jets, scheduled for delivery in 2020.