ANA, Japan's largest airline, today announced that two more of its planes will be decorated with Star Wars characters as part of an agreement with The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd. 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 announced R2-D2 ANA Jet, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Through this combination of characters, ANA hopes to welcome more passengers of all ages from around the world.
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. 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 movies will be shown from shown from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016.
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 robust international network including the US (Seattle and San Jose), Europe (Munich, Paris and Brussels), Australia (Sydney), China (Beijing), and Indonesia (Jakarta). Routes and flights detailed on the above site are provisional and subject to change without notification.
In November, the Star Wars™ ANA Jet will fly domestic Japanese routes, and then in March 2016 the BB-8™ ANA Jet is scheduled to start serving international routes principally between Japan and North America (the exact routes have yet to be announced). The routes are tentatively set as New York, Chicago and Houston, but this is subject to change. Fans will be able to see the planes' schedules at ANA-SW.com. Here's what Osamu Shinobe, President and CEO of ANA, had to say in a statement.
"We're thrilled to unveil the designs of our new Star Wars themed planes, and I'm sure fans across the world will love the look. At ANA we pride ourselves on offering the best possible flight experience, from the ANA Star Wars Project and our extensive in-flight entertainment options, to our peerless, award-winning in-flight service, dining options created by Michelin-starred chefs and wines chosen by our discerning sommeliers. We look forward to providing our passengers with an engaging in-flight experience as they travel our planet."
ANA is also holding a Fan Appreciation Flight on October 17, where travellers must dress up in Star Wars to get a sneak preview of these planes. Visit ANA-SW.com for more details on how to win tickets. Here's what Kathleen Kennedy, president of LucasFilm and producer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, had this to say in her statement about these Star Wars planes.
"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. I, too, certainly look forward to flying aboard one of ANA's Star Wars jets on my next trip to Japan."
For more information on ANA's Star Wars Project, visit: ANA-SW.com. Follow the ANA Star Wars Project on our social media channels, Facebook.com/FlyWorld.ANA. Check out new photos and videos of all these Star Wars jets below.