Monday, September 14, 2015

ANA unveils Star Wars Boeing 787 R2-D2 ANA JET.

On September 12th, All Nippon Airways [NH/ANA] rolled out Boeing 787-9 JA873A R2-D2 ANA JET (ANA reveals Star Wars Project.), the first of three special-themed aircraft featuring Star Wars, at Paine Field [PAE/KPAE]. This marks the first time a character from the popular epic space opera appears on the exterior of a commercial aircraft. It took 10 days to paint R2-D2 on ANA's newest Dreamliner, which will be configured with 215 seats (48 business, 21 premium economy, and 146 economy).

Boeing 787-9 JA873A R2-D2 ANA JET was rolled out from Boeing's factory in Everett on September 12th at 0900 PST. (Photo: ANA)

After cabin work is finished, R2-D2 ANA JET will be delivered at the end of September and is expected to arrive in Japan in early October. Service entry is scheduled for October 18th as flight NH116 from Tokyo/Haneda [HND/RJTT] to Vancouver [YVR/CYVR]. It will also be deployed to Beijing/Capital [PEK/ZBAA], Jakarta/Soekarno-Hatta [CGK/WIII], Munich [MUC/EDDM], Paris/Charles de Gaulle [CDG/LFPG], San Jose [SJC/KSJC], and Sydney/Kingsford Smith [SYD/YSSY] (ANA announces Haneda – Sydney.) later on.

JA873A will be adorned with the iconic robot until March 2020. (Photo: ANA)

One day prior to inaugurating service, R2-D2 ANA JET will be assigned to a scenic flight from Haneda. 39 winners from a photo contest on ANA's website that will end on September 18th will be invited, and all members of ANA Mileage Club (AMC) are also eligible to apply for a scarce 25 groups of two made available. The five-year Star Wars Project agreement with The Walt Disney Company (Japan) will take advantage of the release of The Force Awakens, the series' latest episode and the first of the next trilogy, to bolster ANA's brand-awareness in the international arena.

Due to overwhelming popularity, last month ANA decided to paint two more aircraft in the Star Wars theme (ANA announces Boeing 777 and 767 Star Wars Jets.). 777-381/ER JA789A will be adorned with BB-8 and be named BB-8 ANA JET to ply intercontinental routes alongside R2-D2 ANA JET, while 767-381/ER JA604A will be painted as STAR WARS ANA JET and fly domestic routes. The former will enter service in March 2016 and the latter in November this year. The three special livery aircraft will fly until March 2020, when the five-year contract expires.

Source: All Nippon Airways Japan @ Facebook.
Source: Aviation Wire, 2015 September 13th. (in Japanese)

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