ANA ordered 3 A380’s from Airbus back in 2016 as part of a complicated deal to take over bankrupt airline Skymark.
Skymark had unwisely decided to order 6 A380’s even though it had no real idea how it was going to use them. They were also configured with the lowest seating total of any A380 with just 388 seats.
Skymark couldn’t afford the aircraft deposits and final payment was due on the first fully complete aircraft. The airline couldn’t make the payment and that, along with operational costs forced it into bankruptcy. Under Japanese law that gave Airbus, who were owed the most money, first rights to any proceeds raised from the sale of the airline or it’s assets.
ANA wanted to buy the airline it had long despised and agreed to terms – it would order 3 new A380 for delivery in 2019, Airbus could sell the fully complete A380 that was half paid for and the second one that was 25% paid for. (They eventually went, reconfigured and painted to Emirates).
ANA ran a competition and selected the giant green sea turtle livery of ‘Hondu’ to operate the aircraft in.
The aircraft are principally to be used on the Tokyo-Honolulu route when delivered.
ANA has committed to aid conservation efforts for the turtle on the islands.