ANA, Japan’s largest airline, has partnered with Walt Disney Company on a partnership that will produce Star Wars-branded planes, and the first of the planes is set to roll off the Boeing production line this weekend.
ANA plans to live-stream the roll-out of its new R2-D2 branded 787-9 Boeing Dreamliner on Saturday, September 12, at 9am PDT from Seattle, Washington. This will mark the first time a Star Wars character will appear on a commercial aircraft.
“ANA boasts an extensive international network, along with convenient connections between the U.S. and a wide variety of destinations throughout Asia,” said Takashi Shiki, ANA Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing. “The R2-D2 motif works well with ANA’s blue logo design on the aircraft’s fuselage, and many people associate R2-D2 with competent and reliable service—also hallmarks of ANA’s 5-star service.”
There will be a Fan Appreciation Flight event on October 17, where Star Wars fans who won a contest will show up in full cosplay for their trans-Atlantic journey.
After that, the R2-D2 ANA JET will fly its first regular route route from Haneda, Japan to Vancouver on October 18. It will then fly a Narita, Japan to San Jose, California route from mid-October to late-November, before switching to a Narita, Japan to Seattle route for December. After that the plane will fly from Japan to other countries around the world.
Two more Star Wars-branded jets will be in service soon. A Dreamliner featuring a BB-8 and R2-D2 combination design is set for a winter 2015 debut, to be followed by a solo BB-8 Dreamliner design by Spring 2016.
Here is the promotional video showing all three designs:
If you want to watch the live stream of the R2-D2 roll-out, visit ana-sw.com/event/rollout.
[Images courtesy ANA Airlines/Disney]