Japanese carrier ANA have been having some fun with their 787 recently, both playing Star Wars with some avid sci-fi aficionados and also launching their new Brussels flight with a 787 service. On October 17, 2015, the R2-D2 ANA JET Fan Appreciation Flight event was held at Haneda Airport. A total of 91 passengers were selected—42 chosen from the Sightseeing Flight Campaign, where people sent in pictures of themselves in Star Wars cosplay, and the other 49 chosen from the AMC Members’ Campaign.
We love how involved everyone got in the event. We just wish we were at the airport, watching everyone in the queue checking in. From Darth Vader to an Ewok. The event was themed to perfection, even boarding passes with an R2-D2 design were given to all passengers of the R2-D2 ANA JET. The event began with a ceremony just in front of the aircraft. After opening remarks from Mr. Inada, the head of marketing at ANA, the participants gathered for a group photo with the themed jet.
As well as the outside, the inside was themed with R2D2 details such as headrests, napkins, cookies and paper cups. The event actually managed to showcase some of the unique features of the 787, when being seated, the main theme song played and LED lights alternated to blue or red utilising the advanced mood lighting the 787 offers.
At the end of the event, participants were allowed access to the apron to take photos, given gifts, including a 1/200 model plane, a print of the group photo taken at the start of the event, and a tote bag. Sadly, this was a one off event, although you may find the occasional Ewok on one of the R2-D2™ ANA JET flight as the aircraft began regular international flights on October 18, 2015.
The Big Picture
Meanwhile, in Brussels on the 25th, ANA was welcomed to the Belgian capital with a traditional “Kagami Biraki” Sake barrel ceremony. This is the sixth European destination for ANA and served by a daily 787 service (with two R2D2 flights scheduled in November). A month after ANA’s Kuala Lumpur launch, the new launch will see increased Star Alliance connections through their Brussels Airlines codeshare.
“We are proud to be introducing the only flight between Brussels and Japan starting this autumn, and look forward to working with our Star Alliance partners to welcome even more travellers from Europe to Japan and Asia, as Japan increasingly becomes a popular destination in Belgium,” said ANA president and CEO Osamu Shinobe.
The Big Picture