design02 We sense a disturbance in the air… and we love it! We all remember how cool it was when we learned R2-D2 could fly, and well, it’s happening again. All Nippon Airways announced today it will introduce a very special Star Wars livery, with the iconic (and only true link to all Star Wars movies) R2-D2, on its newest aircraft 787-9 Dreamliner to mark the beginning of a five-year ANA Star Wars™ Project and agreement with The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd. This marks the first time a Star Wars character will appear on the exterior of a commercial aircraft. In a similar move to Air New Zealand‘s courtship to Lord of the Rings, ANA’s R2-D2 design was unveiled toStar Wars fans today at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California, just months prior to the character’s appearance on international flights in autumn of this year. design01 The Star Wars livery is in line with ANA’s strategy to further enhance its international presence – and it’s going to work. Last spring, the carrier significantly expanded its international flight network from Haneda and Narita airports in Tokyo. With demand increasing around the world for flights to Japan and routes linking the United States with Asia, ANA is committed to raising the profile of the ANA brand in the global market through innovative partnerships and branding opportunities. The partnership with Star Wars, an internationally loved franchise, is a perfect match as Japan’s largest airline seeks to connect travelers around the world through this project. design05 “We’re excited to be involved in this collaboration with ANA, one of the world’s leading 5-star airlines,” said Kayleen Walters, Vice President, Marketing for Lucasfilm Ltd. “We’re proud of the innovative R2-D2 design, and we look forward to witnessing the first-ever flight of a passenger aircraft featuring a Star Wars character. We’re confident that Star Wars fans around the world will absolutely love this design.”   “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. “Although it’s a lofty goal, we hope that like Star Wars, ANA will become well known and loved across all borders and generations. 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. We are particularly delighted to introduce this collaboration now as we prepare to launch our new international service from Tokyo to Houston in June, making it our 10th North American destination. Through the introduction of the new Star Wars livery we hope to welcome more passengers from around the world to experience ANA as the Inspiration of Japan.” ANA 787-9 E-2 If you want to get involved in ANA’s universe, take a look at their dedicated microsite… let’s just hope our chances of flying on the new jet are less than 725 to one…

Posted by:Jonny Clark

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