EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空), Taiwan’s second-largest carrier, yesterday said it will debut a new plane decorated with images of popular Japanese cartoon character Hello Kitty on a Sept. 18 flight to Los Angeles, California.
Unlike its previous five Hello Kitty airplanes, which were all A330s made by Airbus SAS, the new craft is the first Boeing Co 777-300ER plane to feature the animated cat.
After its first flight to the US, the new craft is likely to serve travelers bound for European countries, the airline said.
EVA Airways began rolling out Hello Kitty planes in October 2011 for use primarily on routes to Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong and the US territory of Guam. The colorful aircraft have proved a hit with passengers.
To commemorate the first Hello Kitty-themed 777-300ER, EVA Airways said it will organize a special group of Hello Kitty fans to be the passengers on the maiden flight.
The group will be treated to an onboard autograph session with Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi and attend a party to celebrate the plane’s launch in Los Angeles as guests of honor, the airline said.
In a similar project, China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) in June unveiled a Boeing 747-400 bearing a jet fuselage painted by Jimmy Liao (幾米), one of Taiwan’s most famous illustrators, in a bid to promote the country’s creativity and environmental awareness around the world.
The plane is to be used on routes to Japan, China, the US, Europe and Southeast Asia to publicize Taiwanese art, the nation’s biggest carrier said.