A leased A380 will fly Norwegians to and from Palma de Mallorca and Danes to and from Cyprus.
The tour operator Ving, which is part of the Thomas Cook Group, is reportedly struggling with logistics after IT problems at the airport on the Greek island of Rhodes. As result of the capacity glut it has hired the world’s largest passenger aircraft to take Norwegians on holiday to and from Palma de Mallorca.
The A380 has been rented from the Portuguese charter company HiFly, write flysmart24.no and Norway Today.
The superjumbo had been scheduled to arrive at Oslo Gardermoen early on Thursday morning and depart at 11:00.
“It is a return trip from Oslo to Palma de Mallorca. On the way to Palma we will carry 238 passengers, while the return flight will consist of 403,” says Siri Røhr-Staff, Ving’s communications manager.
The change of plane is likely to come as a pleasant surprise to many passengers. It has room for 399 passengers in economy – with a lucky few upgraded to business or first class. There are seats for up to 471 passengers in total.
The problem for Ving is not a shortage of aircraft but that traffic to Rhodes was severely disrupted at the weekend.
“It has caused further delays that have led us to be unable to take our guests where they are supposed to be, on time. Our hope is that the situation will now be resolved,” Røhr-Staff says.
An A380 has visited Oslo only rarely in the past – when it was tested for extreme winter cold, when Lufthansa showcased the aircraft in 2010, and when an A380 had to make an emergency landing because of a sick passenger.
Danes to Cyprus
Spies Travel, Denmark’s tour operator operating under the Thomas Cook banner, has also chartered HiFly’s A380 to carry Danish holidaymakers between Copenhagen and Cyprus.
Also weighed down by the problems on Rhodes, Spies had to deal with customers flying to Cyprus who had been waiting to depart from CPH for two days. They were accommodated at the Clarion Hotel Copenhagen Airport before finally departing on the A380 on Wednesday, Check-in.dk reports.