ANA debuts Star Wars livery on new Dreamliner

Also launches ‘Take-Off Mode’ app for anxious fliers 

When Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) takes delivery of its newest 787-9 Dreamliner, it will have a paint job unlike any other plane produced.

The new plane will introduce a Star Wars livery featuring the iconic R2-D2 and will mark the first time a Star Wars character will appear on the exterior of a commercial aircraft. Its debut marks the beginning of a five-year joint Star Wars™ Project with The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd.

The R2-D2 design was unveiled to Star Wars fans at a Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California, just months prior to the character’s appearance on international flights in the fall of this year.

The Star Wars livery is but one facet of ANA’s strategy to further enhance its international presence. Last spring, the carrier significantly expanded its international flight network from Haneda (HND) and Narita (NRT) airports in Tokyo.

ANA Dreamliner with Star Wars livery
“With demand increasing around the world for flights to Japan and routes linking the United States with Asia, ANA is committed to raising the profile of the ANA brand in the global market through innovative partnerships and branding opportunities,” the airline said in a statement announcing the new design. “The partnership with Star Wars, beloved by audiences in Japan and around the globe, is a perfect match as Japan’s largest airline seeks to connect travelers around the world through this project.”

“We’re confident that Star Wars fans around the world will absolutely love this design," Kayleen Walters, Vice President, Marketing for Lucasfilm Ltd., added.

What’s not to love? However, the design will be more easily viewed at airports outside the United States, as most U.S. airports have jetways that have few, if any, windows. Jetways at many of the airports I have flown into in Europe and Japan have large windows or sides that are almost all glass, making it much easier for passengers to see and enjoy the unusual livery as they prepare to board or deplane.

ANA introduces ‘Take-Off Mode’ App

With 3,500 hours at the controls of various aircraft, I am not an anxious flyer, but statistics show that I am in the minority: figures state that 72 percent of people feel anxious during air travel, and take-off and landing are among the most stressful times. For them, ANA has introduced an app to take their minds off things.

Called “Take-Off Mode,” the app offers a game that functions as a distraction, though it is a game that interacts with the motion of the aircraft during take-off. The app can be previewed here.

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Photo courtesy All Nippon Airways
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