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Hi Fly to introduce 471-seat A380 by mid-year

Portuguese long-haul wet-lease specialist Hi Fly is to become the latest operator of the Airbus A380, with plans to take delivery of the type around the middle of this year.

Hi Fly had previously signalled that it was holding talks to introduce a pair of A380s.

The carrier says the first Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered aircraft will arrive in mid-2018 and will be operated "worldwide", with a 471-seat configuration.

This includes 399 seats on the main deck with 60 business-class and 12 first-class seats on the upper deck – the configuration used by Singapore Airlines, which started withdrawing its older A380s last year.

Hi Fly has yet to confirm the serial number of its first example.

It has provided an illustration of the A380 in the carrier's livery, which appears to include a Maltese registration. The company has a division, Hi Fly Malta, based on the Mediterranean island.

Hi Fly states that it will operate the A380 with a "truly luxurious" interior, with a Panasonic eX2 in-flight entertainment system.

"This acquisition has been part of our company's plans for a while," says Hi Fly president Paulo Mirpuri. "It is a very proud moment for Hi Fly."

Hi Fly operates a long-haul aircraft fleet including Airbus A330s and A340s, and recently disclosed that it intends to acquire a batch of re-engined A330-900s.

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