Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) and aircraft manufacturer Boeing have unveiled the first of three airliners that will be painted in Star Wars livery.
In front of a crowd of dignitaries from ANA and Boeing (NYSE:BA) as well as members of the media, the two companies debuted the first Star Wars jet, a 787-9 Dreamliner decorated with the likeness of R2-D2, on Saturday, Sept. 12.
The plane's namesake R2-D2, C-3PO and a phalanx of ominous Imperial Storm Troopers were on hand and helped bring the fantasy of the Star Wars movies to life on the tarmac outside the paint hangar at the Boeing facility at Paine Field in Everett, Wash.
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 R2-D2 ANA Jet.
ANA is decorating the 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.
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.
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.
Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.
Video and photos by Carl Dombek
Click photos to view larger size images