Today we said farewell to our A380 9H-MIP and in a very special way. We drew a heart in the sky as a final tribute to the Mirpuri Foundation and the “Save the Coral Reefs” Campaign, raising awareness of the need to protect our oceans.
After almost three years flying worldwide with a sustainability message, the inspiring Hi Fly Airbus A380 took off for the last time but not without amazing us once again with its love for the planet.
Flight HFM380 from Beja to Toulouse:
Take-off from Beja at runway 01L was followed by two fly-by over the runway, one at low speed, one at high speed. Then a rapid climb to FL400 headed to the sea, some 100 nautical miles west of Lisbon.
Sky art in the shape of a heart could be seen in Flight Radar 24 (https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/5m380/#2655540f)
After the drawing, airplane proceeded enroute to Toulouse, overflying Grândola, Lisbon, Santarém, Castelo Branco, Covilhã, Guarda, Salamanca, Zamora, Lerma, Burgos, Logronõ, Sanguesa, Jaca, Pyrenees Mountains, Bagneres de Bigorre, Lannemezan and Muret.
Arriving in Toulouse the aircraft performed a low pass followed by a full landing. Block time 03H55, distance 2.269Km.
The flight was under the command of Captain Carlos Mirpuri, with First Officer João Domingues, Cabin Crew Gonçalo Romão and Margarida Quaresma, and Engineers Vítor Silveira and Sara Claro.
Also onboard this memorable flight was Paulo Mirpuri, President of Hi Fly.
Aviation Blogger Sam Chui was our special guest, you can see Sam’s article on the flight HERE
More information on Hi Fly Airbus A380:
Airbus A380 joined Hi Fly’s fleet in 2018.
Hi Fly was the 4th European airline and the 14th global operator to fly this magnificent aircraft, becoming also the first wet leasing airline operating an A380 and inaugurating its second hand market.
The iconic model aligned perfectly with the company’s sustainability concern, being able to carry more people with less impact on the environment as it combined mass passenger transportation with efficient technologies, resulting in a lower carbon footprint per passenger and per kilometer.
The Hi Fly A380 supported Mirpuri Foundation’s “Save the Coral Reefs” campaign and carried the message across the five continents, raising awareness for an unprecedented fight to stop the destruction of our oceans. The livery was comprised of one side painted in dark blue displaying destroyed corals, contrasting with a light blue on the other side representing a pristine ocean, with images of colourful and healthy marine life.
This campaign was also showcased for more than 400.000 visitors at the famous Farnborough Air Show 2018 and Paris Air Show 2019.
The “Save the Coral Reefs” aircraft was a record breaker:
– Was the first A380 to land in Portugal, homecountry of Hi Fly
– Was the first A380 to connect London to New York
– Operated the longest non-stop domestic flight in the world, from St. Denis to Paris
– It’s Marketing campaign received a double award from the magazine Global Transport Finance
– Was the first to land in Wuhan, China, following the coronavirus outbreak
– Completed an around the world humanitarian mission which lasted four days, starting and ending in Beja, Portugal. Covered 31047km in a flight time of 33 hours and 45 minutes with stops in Tianjin and Santo Domingo.
Hi Fly’s A380 was the first to be converted to cargo version, removing economy seats to meet the high demands during covid-19 crisis. Was able to carry 68 tons and offered 340m3 of volume capacity. Plus, it could fly direct for over 17 hours. This combination of volume, payload and range made it unique for cargo transportation.
The aircraft made a show with a fly-by over Lisbon Airport and also Algarve, where Locals and beach vacationers were able to spot the king of the skies, drawing attention to its environmental message “Save the Coral Reefs” A380 was one of the most photographed and loved by spotters all over the world.
And was the first A380 to land in:
• Beja (23/07/2018)
• Oslo (2/08/2018)
• Reunion (25/08/2018)
• Diass (14/04/2019)
• Antananarivo (30/06/2019)
• Cairo (7/07/2019)
• Caracas (14/07/2019)
• Buenos Aires (23/07/2019)
• Dalaman (23/09/2019)
• Enfidha (24/09/2019)
• Las Palmas (27/09/2019)
• Santo Domingo (16/05/2020)
At Hi Fly service, the aircraft visited 53 different airports, in 33 countries and 4 continents.
2. Abu Dhabi
9. Buenos Aires
26. Kuala Lumpur
28. Las Palmas
29. London Gatwick
30. London Stansted
35. New York
39. Palma de Mallorca
40. Paris-Châlons Vatry
41. Paris-Charles de Gaulle
42. Paris-Le Bourget
43. Reunion Island
45. Santo Domingo
Of the 15 current A380 operators in the world, Hi Fly was the first airline in Europe and second worldwide in number of landing destinations. This accomplishment was achieved in only two years.
The A380 phase-out:
Hi Fly phased out of it’s Airbus A380 at the end of the lease term, following almost three years of successful operations worldwide. The decision to not extend the initial agreed lease period came as a consequence of the covid-19 pandemic, that drastically reduced the demand for very large aircraft.
Hi Fly belonged to the very exclusive club of only 15 airlines to ever operate the A380, the largest and most advanced aircraft of all times. This aircraft was a testimony to how far human being can go in developing something so extraordinary.
Above all, the iconic 9H-MIP “Save the Coral Reefs” was inspiring, and carried this responsible message to hundreds of millions of people in the four corners of the world.
The Airbus A380 will be replaced in the Hi Fly fleet by additional Airbus A330’s, a smaller and more adequate aircraft for current market conditions.
Photo credits: Sam Chui and FrenchpainterTLS