Hello Kitty plane lands in Los Angeles
The China Post news staff with CNATAIPEI, Taiwan -- An EVA Airways' Hello Kitty-themed jet arrived in Los Angeles yesterday after taking off from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Wednesday on its first flight direct to the U.S. city.
September 20, 2013, 12:21 am TWN
The popular Japanese cartoon character was not on board, but her picture was painted on the plane itself and was also found throughout the cabin, on everything from snacks to toilet paper.
The sixth and final addition to EVA Airways' fleet of Hello Kitty-themed jets, the Boeing 777-300ER is the first aircraft flying across the Pacific that features the cartoon. The airline's chairman marked the occasion by taking up the pilot seat himself.
The plane is decked out from tip to tail with endearing characters belonging to Japan's Sanrio Co. The legendary cat is joined on the plane's fuselage by 18 of her friends, including the bunny My Melody and the angelic Little Twin Stars.
On the inside, passengers can recline on pillows and enjoy in-flight meals, all made in Hello Kitty's image.
Before getting behind the controls Wednesday, EVA Airways Chairman Chang Kuo-wei said the carrier chose to deploy the new Hello Kitty jet on the Los Angeles route because it was the first long-haul destination serviced by the company, and the U.S. city is home to one of the largest overseas Chinese communities.
Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi did not miss out on the big day, either. She was one of the flight's special guests, and offered a drawing of the simple but iconic characters before boarding to wish success to Chang and his airline.
Fans lucky enough to get tickets dressed appropriately for the occasion, toting bags and accessories with images of the cartoon cat as they boarded the plane.
The new jet will fly between Taoyuan and Los Angeles three times a week. EVA operates a total of 17 weekly flights between the two destinations.
The company's five other Hello Kitty jets in service are smaller Airbus A330 planes, which operate on regional flights to destinations including Hong Kong, Tokyo and Guam.