ANA has struggled to get its A380s back in the air. The airline operates its A380s – dubbed the “Flying Honu” (Hawaiian word for turtle) – between NRT and HNL. However, since March, Hawaii has essentially closed itself to visitor traffic by issuing a 14 day mandatory quarantine for all visitors and residents returning to the state. This incredibly restrictive quarantine requires visitors to stay in their lodging or residence for 14 days or risk being arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. The quarantine prevents visitors from leaving their lodging for any reason other than medical, and also restricts visitors from renting cars.
When it became clear that Hawaii’s quarantine would last until at least the end of July, ANA cancelled all of its flights to the islands during July, which effectively grounded their A380 fleet.
But last week, Hawaii’s governor announced that visitors would be allowed to enter the state without quarantine if they can show proof of a negative PCR COVID test taken within 72 hours of their arrival. With this news, it looks like ANA’s A380s will begin flying on August 1st.
ANA will operate two daily flights between NRT and HNL. These flights are serviced on alternating days by either an A380 and 777, or two A380s. Currently there is lots of first class award space available and since ANA is a Star Alliance member you can book these on United or Life Miles.
One caveat is that Japan has not yet opened itself to US visitors. It’s unclear if this will change by August. Although United in particular has relaxed its cancellation policies to provide additional flexibility in light of COVID, this only extends until the end of June. It’s unclear if you’ll have the same flexibility next month.