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If we’ve learned one thing about the world in the last few years, it is that Hello Kitty is only gaining in ubiquity. From airport shops and her own Los Angeles convention to kitty-print toilet paper and every accessory under the sun, the cartoon cat missing a mouth has steamrolled beyond Barbie, the X-Men, and more in her quest for world domination.
Since 2005, that success has included airplanes, with Taiwanese carrier EVA Airways debuting Airbus A330s (and, last year, an extra special Boeing 777-300ER) covered tip to tail in Hello Kitty imagery. When we say tip to tail, we mean even the interior; the Hello Kitty flights, of which there are 6 regular routes originating in Taipei (Los Angeles, Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Hokkaido), please passengers with Hello Kitty-theme in-flight shopping, in-flight entertainment, and in-flight meals.
While we know commercial airline pilots are real people with thoughts and feelings (usually), we passengers rarely get even the slightest glimpse into the other side of the flight deck door.
Commercial airline pilot of 28 years, Chris Manno, has flipped this with the release of Flight Crew. . .like you, a collection of illustrations showcasing the behind-the-scenes view of a career pilot.
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Hello Kitty is turning 40 this year and Sanrio is inviting all of her fans to help her celebrate this fall.
Hello Kitty Con 2014 will celebrate all things Hello Kitty with exclusive merchandise, pop-up shops, panels and discussions, art installations, photo opps, costumes, workshops, tattoos, and other activities for fans of every age.
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It's a 'Hello Kitty' world now.
As Taiwan's EVA Air continues to promote their fleet of six Hello Kitty jets (5 A330s, 1 777) and Japan Airlines gets in on the action with one Kitty-fied 777, ANA is slowly saying fond farewells to their once robust fleet of Pokémon planes.
The idea to paint up an aircraft in Pikachu and other characters goes all the way back to 1992, with a contest ANA hosted to welcome children's drawings as design concepts. No plane was painted with Pokémon until 1998, however; the first was a 747 on domestic routes, which flew for 17 years before heading into retirement.
Why is Miss Piggy greeting travelers on Lufthansa flights? Well, she's a 'VIP' (Very Important Pig) with an updated safety video that will even get the kids' attention.
It's all to celebrate the May 1st premiere in German theaters of Disney's newest Muppets movie: "Muppets Most Wanted." Rest assured, however, that Miss Piggy isn't the end-all, be-all of safety instruction on your next Lufthansa flight; she's simply an entertaining segment and a little whistle-whetter as Lufthansa flights have also added the first "The Muppets" movie to the list of available feature films on the in-flight entertainment systems.
If you're German and reading this, then you might want to check out the contest for roundtrip flights from Germany to LA for four people, plus hotel, rental car, and a tour of Walt Disney Studios.
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"This Hello Kitty jet is for everyone. On it, every day is a happy day. We are spreading a message of happiness." - EVA Air's Chairman (and Captain) K.W. Chang
In 2005, EVA Air painted Hello Kitty on the side of a plane. Then they did it again in 2006. The two planes turned frowns upside-down for a few years, but went away in 2008. Then, in 2011, we showed you the return of the Hello Kitty planes, though these newest versions only flitted around Asia at the time. Now, the US finally gets in on the kawaii action as the airline debuts their first Hello Kitty Boeing 777 and a first trans-Pacific route for the cute Sanrio character: Taipei to Los Angeles.
"Other airlines only do the exterior job [of theming a plane], but we've done it all," says Chang. "We want everyone to share our world," before connecting to other Star Alliance flights and returning to their world. You've already read the 11 coolest facts about these airplanes, but see exactly what Chang is talking about in our 77 original photos of outside, inside, and all around the new 777:
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It's not every day you see dancing on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport, but when that dancing is to celebrate the arrival of a Hello Kitty-themed airplane, it's completely warranted.
Slipping into a gate alongside the tails of 787s, 747-8s and A380s yesterday was EVA Air's brand new Boeing 777-300ER, its body painted all over with the cheery cartoons of Sanrio's Hello Kitty and friends.
Over 70 Hello Kitty enthusiasts were on the inaugural flight, joined by a troupe of Hello Kitty dancers, characters, artists and Hello Kitty's creator herself, Yuko Yamaguchi. The arrival marks the beginning of regular, nonstop flights between LAX and Taipei-Taoyuan for this aircraft, which is arguably the most kawaii addition to aviation since Pokémon showed up on some 747s. Even as Alaska Airlines' Mickey Mouse plane passed by, all eyes remained on EVA's Kitty.
Before booking a flight, however, there's some things you should know about EVA Air's Hello Kitty 777:
It's Monday, which means a distraction is definitely in order. Luckily we've got the perfect little one minute comic to share: click to view.
Matthew Inman is the cartoonist behind the brilliant web series "The Oatmeal". He's the sort of dual artist-comedian who expertly illustrates those weird thoughts everyone thinks, but never say.
Over the weekend, while onboard a flight, he had a tiny revelation which led to an on-the-fly comic he drew, uploaded and posted to Twitter all thanks to the magic of in-flight wifi.
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Today Disney's Planes, the 3D animated tale of a little crop duster who dreams of being a race plane, finally hits the big screen. Like most Disney flicks, Planes caters to both kids and adults, but they're also hoping to please another very critical audience - aviation geeks.
Of course, the movie isn't completely accurate - actual planes can't talk or cheer each other on - but there are still plenty of nods to the real thing. Two pilots recently discussed some of the details that will have aviation experts flying high.
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15,000 people saw the Disney movie "Planes" before you, but how can that be? The 3D animated film, which follows the (mis)adventures of a cropduster airplane named "Dusty" in his quest to become a race plane, doesn't debut until this Friday, August 9.
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There's no hiding the fact we are really excited for Disney's newest animated feature, Planes; after all, it is about planes! Valuable life-lessons, star-studded voice-overs and cute talking airplanes, what more can you ask for?
The creative minds at Disney have drawn up Rochelle, a spitfire little racing plane determined to win any race she enters. Acting as the heroine of the story, she is painted pink, hails from Quebec, and voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Here's the twist, she is only French-Canadian for the North American release of the movie and will take on different names and sport a different paint job in different countries. For example, in the Russian release she's red, white and blue and in Australia and New Zealand, she is the Aussie 'Shiela' with a kangaroo painted near her tail.
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Here's a film we can really get into; 'Planes'! In what could be a modern day twist on the retro animated favorite, Pedro, the newest full-length film from Disney features cute little planes, complete with a heart-warming story conveying a very valuable life lesson. Pay close attention when the movie debuts later this summer (August 9) and you'll notice there's a character we're all familiar with: American Airlines' shiny new 777-300ER.
The widebody goes by the name of Tripp and is (of course) painted in AA's fresh livery as an homage to the newest aircraft in the family. Tripp only has a cameo as a flashy commercial aircraft who motivates the misfit crop-dusting plane, Dusty, to fly higher and achieve greatness. Genius brand placement.