Taiwanese carrier EVA Air has painted its first Airbus A330-300 after a celebrity cat called Hello Kitty.
A cartoon character designed by Yuko Shimizu and trademarked by Japanese company Sanrio, the mouth-less cat was first introduced on a coin purse in Japan in 1974, and it has since become an international phenomenon, particularly in Asia.
Although Hello Kitty was originally aiming for the pre-adolescent female market, her following has grown to include adults, and it is not rare to see office workers, even some men, carrying her branded products to work. Starting from purses, stickers and pen sets, the feline empire has expanded to become a multibillion-dollar one that produces everything from electrical appliances to computer equipment. In 2005, she entered the aviation industry when EVA Air painted her portrait onto the exterior of an Airbus A330-200, with another to follow a year later. These jets retired in 2009.
On October 27 this year, Hello Kitty returned with the “Magic Jet", again in collaboration with EVA Air and this time to mark the airline’s 20th anniversary.
“Magic Jet” is the first of three themed A330-300 aircraft to be rolled out by EVA Air. Each of these logojets will have its unique theme. Onboard, Hello-Kitty is omnipresent, seen on headrest covers, tissue, paper cups, utensils and hand-washing liquid bottles. The cabin flight attendants will also don Hello Kitty aprons, just to make you smile.
The subsequent two catty Airbus A330-300s will be named Apple Jet and Global Jet. The Magic Jet flies between Taipei and Sapporo in Japan starting October 31.
Scheduled for debut later this year, the Apple Jet and Global Jet will embark on routes from Taipei to Fukuoka, Japan and Seoul.
For more information, visit www.evaair.com