Posted on: 14 September 2015 by Mark Howells
Ahead of the forthcoming December theatrical release of the latest instalment in the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, ANA, Japan’s largest airline and Boeing have unveiled the first aircraft in the world decorated with Star Wars livery at a roll-out ceremony.
The R2-D2 ANA Jet, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, is the first of three planes to be decorated with Star Wars characters as part of a five-year agreement between ANA and The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd.
“Today the time has come to bring the ANA Star Wars project to life and we hope Star Wars fans across the world will be as excited about our R2-D2 ANA Jet as we are,” said Hideki Kunugi, senior vice president, the Americas, ANA. “At ANA we’re always looking for ways to improve the flying experience for our passengers, and what better way to start your trip to Asia than on a one-of-a-kind Star Wars plane?”
The R2-D2 motif is imprinted onto the cockpit and front half of the jet’s main fuselage, while the Star Wars logo spans the length behind the wings. The interior of the 215-seat passenger plane will feature themed in-flight decorations, such as headrest covers, paper napkins and cups. The partnership also means ANA will be the only airline in the world to offer all six of the currently released Star Wars films as part of its extensive in-flight entertainment options on international routes. The movies will be shown from 1 November, 2015 to 31 January, 2016 – the first time that any of the Star Wars movies have been included as part of an in-flight entertainment system.
Two additional planes decorated with BB-8, a brand new character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and R2-D2 will take to the skies following the R2-D2 ANA Jet. The first, a Boeing 767-300, will begin flying domestic Japanese routes in November and then, in March 2016, a Boeing 777-300ER, is scheduled to start serving international routes principally between Japan and North America (the exact routes have yet to be announced).