Wednesday, August 19, 2015

ANA to add more planes in 'Star Wars' livery

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), will decorate two more of its planes with Star Wars characters as part of an agreement with The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd., designed to promote the Star Wars movie franchise.

ANA will decorate a Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777-300ER with the likeness of BB-8, a character that will debut in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the latest movie in the franchise scheduled for theatrical release in December 2015.

ANA will also designate a Boeing 767-300 as the Star Wars ANA Jet. It will showcase both BB-8 and R2-D2, who has been a Star Wars icon since the first Star Wars movie was released in May 1977. These Star Wars themed planes will join the previously announced R2-D2 ANA Jet, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

The three themed jets will fly both international and domestic routes. On Oct. 18, the R2-D2 Dreamliner is scheduled to go into service on international routes, initially flying between Tokyo and Vancouver, B.C. (YVR), and then between Japan and other cities in ANA’s international network including the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and San Jose, California (SJC); Munich, Germany (MUC); Paris; Brussels (BRU): Sydney, Australia (SYD); Beijing, China (PEK); and Jakarta, Indonesia (CGK).

In November, the decorated Dreamliner will fly domestic Japanese routes, and then in March 2016 the 777-300 with its BB-8 decoration is scheduled to start serving international routes principally between Japan and North America, though the exact routes have yet to be announced. Fans will be able to see the planes’ schedules at www.ana-sw.com.

The themed jets are part of a five year promotional contract with Disney for the Star Wars brand. As part of the agreement, the three planes will also display in-flight decorations, such as headrest covers, paper napkins and cups featuring movie characters. In addition, the partnership makes ANA the only airline in the world to offer all six of the currently released Star Wars films as part of its in-flight entertainment options on international routes.

Screening of those films, from Nov. 1, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2016, will be the first time that any of the Star Wars movies have been included as part of an in-flight entertainment system.

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