Hi Fly acquired their first A380 last year, and so far the plane has operated flights on behalf of Norwegian, Air Austral, and more. Unfortunately the operations so far haven’t gone so smoothly, with Hi Fly having huge issues operating Norwegian’s flights to New York, and then the plane even sustained some engine damage while operating a flight on behalf of Air Austral.
The coral reef-themed jet is operated by Hi Fly, a wet-lease company that provides aircraft and crew to airlines on short-term contracts. Hi Fly acquired the double-decker plane from Singapore Airlines last year in the first transaction of its kind in the secondary market.
While the plane was busy over the summer, the plane has only operated two commercial flights since last September. Specifically, it operated one roundtrip flight on behalf of Norwegian from London Gatwick to New York.
Now, the world’s most recognizable Airbus A380 has been allocated to a new customer for the coming summer season.
Having undergone maintenance work this winter the aircraft is now ready for commercial service and will be placed with a single customer during the IATA summer season, which runs from late March to late October.
“We wanted to do the maintenance works before our peak season,” Hi Fly Chief Executive, Paulo Mirpuri told Forbes. He said the work included compliance with a mandatory Airworthiness Directive issued by Airbus that relates to the A380’s structure and that took about two months to complete.
“Now it’s done, and the aircraft is contracted for the summer period to fly intensively, and then until the end of the year it’s available for ad hoc charters and ad hoc ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) contracts.
“It’s one customer for the whole summer.”
Mirpuri would not be swayed by repeated attempts to elicit information about the customer, insisting that Hi Fly “don’t want to interfere” with clients’ communications strategies.
However, he confirmed that the aircraft will be deployed in the same “Save The Coral Reefs” livery as last year – adopted in support of the Mirpuri Foundation’s environmental work – and with the same seating configuration, which accommodates 12 passengers in First Class, 60 in Business Class, and 399 in Economy Class. He also said the customer was not Air Austral, the French airline that hired the jet for its Paris-Réunion service last year.
“This aircraft is a long-haul aircraft. Typically the common sectors where this aircraft is placed are long-haul flights, high-density routes, and airports that can accommodate the A380,” Mirpuri continued. “The market is mainly Europe to the U.S., Europe to the Indic (Indian Ocean), Europe to Asia, Europe to South America.”
Source : Forbes