All Nippon’s ‘Star Wars’ Dreamliner flies paying passengers for first time – USA TODAY
After months of anticipation, Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) is now flying paying passengers on aÂ Star Wars-themed Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliner.”
The Dreamliner â painted in likeness of Star Wars droid R2-D2 â touched down in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Sunday after arriving on a flight from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on its first regularly scheduled passenger flight.
ANA first announced plansÂ for the Star Wars-themedÂ jet back in April. U.S. enthusiasts will get a chance to see the R2-D2 plane on the West Coast through the end of theÂ year. ANA will make San Jose, Calif., its “principal destination” for the plane from mid-October through late November. And in early December, ANA will switch to Seattle for its main destination for the plane. The airline serves both cities from its base in Tokyo.
The R2-D2 aircraftÂ is the first of three that ANA will fly with a Star Wars paint scheme. Two more will be in serviceÂ by next year.
ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS: Information, schedules for Star Wars planes
One of the designs will feature BB-8, a new character to be introduced in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. BB-8’s likeness will grace one of ANA’s Boeing 777-300ER widebody planes and is expected to begin flying next year. The other new design â on a Boeing 767-300 â will feature both BB-8 and R2-D2 and is expected to begin flying this winter.
The out-of-this-world aircraft liveries are part of a five-year promotional deal between ANA and The Walt Disney Company, which now holds the rights for the Star Wars franchise. The latest Star Wars movie is set for a December release.
In addition to the unique paint schemes, ANA’s “Star Wars Project” also calls for movie-inspired images to be added to headrest covers, paper napkins and cups onboard the Star Wars aircraft.
ANA also will include all six of the currently released Star Wars films in its in-flight entertainment options on international routes. ANA says that marks the first time that any of the Star Wars movies have been included as part of an in-flight entertainment system.