Reports out of Denmark this afternoon have a special addition to the Hi Fly A380 wet lease charter schedule. The first flight will operate on Wednesday for an unlikely customer. Thomas Cook Scandinavia reportedly chartered the aircraft for a one-off service from Copenhagen to Larnaca, Cyprus. The move is necessary after the A330 normally used for the Cyprus service was sent to Rhodes, Greece on Monday night instead and used to evacuate passengers following an airport-wide computer outage that snarled flights. The passengers awaiting a trip to Cyprus are in for a very big surprise with tomorrow’s flight.
If this report is to be believed, and it looks believable, the first @hifly_airline A380 charter will be……
Thomas Cook Scandinavia tomorrow from Copenhagen to Larnaca? https://t.co/orJ8XNkSFE
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) July 31, 2018
The A330 (OY-VKI) returned to Stockholm from Rhodes and reentered service for Thomas Cook Scandinavia leaving the carrier without a sufficient aircraft to operate the Cyprus trip. Faced with passengers delayed now more than 36 hours the company turned to Hi Fly and secured the A380 to complete the mission.
What happens after the Larnaca trip is arguably more interesting. Hi Fly previously reported a long-term lease of the plane to a European carrier. Norwegian is a frequent user of Hi Fly services and considered the front runner for that agreement given the ongoing issues with its 787 Rolls-Royce Trent engines. Those engine issues are now expected to last even longer than previously anticipated meaning the long term lease will be necessary to keep the schedule operating. Virgin Atlantic is similarly rumored but a less likely candidate given its current routes and fleet.
Read More: The Hi Fly A380 is real!
In the mean time, we should know for sure in just a few hours as the aircraft should position for the service on Wednesday. Keep an eye on 9H-MIP to see if this one comes true.
Header image: Hi Fly A380 in Save the Coral Reefs livery by Steve Lynes via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0