ANA, Japan’s largest airline, has just announced that two new Star Wars planes will soon take to the skies, decorated with BB-8, a brand new character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the beloved, R2-D2. As part of an agreement with The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd. and the ANA Star Wars Project, the planes will join the previously announced R2-D2 ANA Jet, which is scheduled to go into service on October 18, 2015.
I was very excited when I first heard about the news back in April. I’ve emailed one of my ANA contacts and asked where the plane would be flying, but at the time I was told they weren’t sure yet. ANA caters to 11 North American destinations.
BB-8, a brand new character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Scheduled for theatrical release in December 2015), will be displayed on the livery of the BB-8™ ANA Jet, a Boeing 777-300ER. ANA also announced the Star Wars™ ANA Jet, which will showcase both BB-8 and R2-D2 on the outside of a Boeing 767-300. These Star Wars themed planes will join the previously announcedR2-D2™ ANA Jet, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
I have flown on Dreamliner from Haneda to Okayama back in 2012 and you can read about it here. It is my favourite plane!
ANA launched the Star Wars Project in April 2015 after signing a five year promotion license contract for the Star Wars brand with The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd. As part of the agreement, the ANA Star Wars planes will also display in-flight decorations, such as headrest covers, paper napkins and cups featuring Star Wars characters – more details will be announced at a later date. How fun is this? 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. This will be the first time that any of the Star Wars movies have been included as part of an in-flight entertainment system.
The three Star Wars™Jets will fly international and domestic routes. On October 18, the R2-D2™ ANA Jet is scheduled to go into service on international routes, initially as flight NH116 between Tokyo and Vancouver, and then fly between Japan and other cities in ANA’s international network including the US (Seattle and San Jose), Europe (Munich, Paris and Brussels), Australia (Sydney), China (Beijing), and Indonesia (Jakarta).
Rest of the route are scheduled as follows (Note: Dates are tentative and subject to change without notice):
Mid October to Late-November: Principal destination Narita=San Jose
Early December: Principal Destination Narita =Seattle
Mid-December and beyond: Haneda=Sidney, Haneda=Jakarta, Haneda=Beijing, Haneda=Munich Haneda=Paris and other destinations.
You can check out the planes’ schedules at www.ana-sw.com.
“We at Lucasfilm are absolutely delighted to have found in Japan such a wonderful partner in ANA and to able to provide you with a wonderful opportunity like this one.” said Kathleen Kennedy, president, Lucasfilm Ltd. “I, too, certainly look forward to flying aboard one of ANA’s Star Wars jets on my next trip to Japan.”
There is also an R2-D2 ANA Jet Fan Appreciation Event in October at Haneda.
Will you fly on Star Wars ANA Jet? Let me know when you do!