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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:
EVA Air Hello Kitty / Hello Kitty / Sanrio / EVA Air / LAX / Airplanes / 777 / Boeing / New Airplanes / Airplane News / Livery / Cartoon Travel / Taiwan Travel / Taipei Travel / Los Angeles Travel / TPE / List / Awesome Stuff / Cute Travel / Star Alliance / → All Tags
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:
You'll remember Yuan Zai as the adorable panda cub - now just over 40 days old - who became an international star when the Taipei Zoo released video of her being reunited with her mother Yuan Yuan for the first time since birth. Zookeepers had whisked Yuan Zai away because she was injured, both to provide her with around the clock medical care and because panda mothers sometimes kill injured offspring. When Yuan Yuan and Yuan Zai were reunited, the video predictably went viral. Embedded below.
Now that she's a certified Internet celebrity, every move that Yuan Zai makes counts as news. Today's big development: she's opening her eyes! They where half open during her last medical examination, and now the next step is happening. Consider yourselves briefed.
The Newbie Traveler / Subways / Taipei Travel / Taiwan Travel / TPE / Public Transportation / → All Tags
Every so often here at Jaunted, we get a dispatch from The Newbie Traveler Andy Miles, who, despite his passion for travel, is still working on getting out there in the world. His unique perspectives are those of a first-timer, and today we're excited to hear about his very first trip on a subway in Asia. In this case, the fateful journeys went down in Taipei, Taiwan:
Air conditioning worthy of combating the most oppressive humidity, surfaces clean enough to eat off of, concierge-like customer service, and a type of thorough organization that is exceptionally rare. No, I'm not describing a 5-star hotel, but rather Taipei's Metro system.
The subway stations and cars on Taipei's metro are spotless. This means no paint marker tags or key-scratched initials on windows. While this cleanliness is most likely due to the ample security cameras, my more romantic view is it's because even the youth take a certain pride in the appearance of their mass transportation. Seeing as how the metro system carries over 1.5 million people a day, staying this spick-and-span is quite a feat.
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This month Hawaiian Airlines added a seventh star to their destination map of Asia, adding nonstop service from Honolulu, Hawaii to Taipei, Taiwan. We not only traveled on the inaugural but hung out in Taipei, and we'll be sharing what's so hot about this route and Taiwan in general, over the next week.
The party began at Honolulu International Airport around midnight, which may seem late, but the nonstop flights to Taipei's Taoyuan Airport depart Honolulu at 1:55am to ensure an early morning arrival into Taipei, perfect for making any connecting flights, business meetings in town, or getting an early jump on vacation.
At the gate in Honolulu, passengers were treated to live Hawaiian music, hula dancing, delicious Taiwanese delicacies, and even a lion dance during the ribbon cutting before all filed onboard.
This flight, HA 807, clocks in at a reasonable 10 hours and 20 minutes, which is just enough time to settle in with the complimentary meal service, make your way through a movie, and grab several hours of shuteye. Because the flight departs in the very early morning and heads west towards the international date line, most of the flight takes place at night, so we were personally able to get a solid 6 hours of sleep (even in an Economy seat!) which left us refreshed and ready to chow down on the Taiwanese-inspired breakfast as we approached TPE.
If you’ve ever lost something on vacation you know that it can be quite the bummer. Doesn’t matter if it’s a cell phone charger or just a shirt left behind in the hotel closet—still sucks. Usually we just suck it up and move on, but in the future—besides keeping a better eye on our stuff—we might just try to be a little more optimistic.
In the feel good story of the week a woman’s camera that was lost on a scuba trip over in Hawaii a few years back was recently found, and after a little internet research it was linked back to her. Amazingly things still appear to be in decent shape, and the memory card has held onto those underwater photos for the last few years.
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You've done the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Holi in India, Oktoberfest in Munich and maybe even New Year's in NYC's Times Square. No matter what major world events you've crossed off your bucket list, there better be an entry for Chinese New Year in Asia. It's next SundayFebruary 10and if you can jet away for a long weekend on the other side of the world to celebrate the start of the year of the Snake, there's still plenty airplane seats.
Just to sample the goods, we searched for the most affordable Economy airfares* from the US to where the Chinese New Year fireworks will be largest.** Here's what we found:
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The fine people at Asia's newest airline, Scoot, have been working hard to start a new airline and expand their network. After a launch that involved enough fanfare to fuel their planes, the airline has been bringing their yellow birds back and forth from Singapore to Sydney and the Gold Coast in Australia. After adding Bangkok and Tianjin, Scoot has now added Taipei, Taiwan to their list of destinations.
Starting September 18th, happy little Scooters can scoot off from Singapore to Taipei. And if you want to fly further than Taiwan, eventually you can follow that plane to Tokyo. After a brief stop to drop off and pick up passengers, the plan is to send the plane right on to the Japanese capital. Right now, bookings are not being taken for Tokyo.
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New and improved business class seats seems to be a thing this year among airlines, and Taiwan-based EVA Air is next up, revamping their premium cabin and announcing that it'll be coming to US shores firstto New York, specifically.
As a complete service overhaul, EVA re-named business to Royal Laurel Class and will now offer a fully lie-flat seat to stretch your legs on the 16+ hour non-stop from JFK to Taipei. New modern seats, upgraded menus and increased entertainment and comfort are all part of the spruce-up.
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Last week, in a frenzy of excitement, we broke the news (for English-language press, at least) that Taiwan's EVA Air would celebrate their 20th Anniversary by bringing back the old, immensely successful Hello Kitty-painted airplane. Instead of only one as before, however, there'd be three A330s, each with a unique paintjob and the full treatment of Hello Kitty-ization on the inside and out.
That alone was awesome news, and now we have more. Although the Hello Kitty plane routes only operate from Taipei-Taoyuan International to Tokyo, Fukuoka, Hokkaido, Seoul and Hong Kong, EVA Air has just begun long-haul flights from New York-JFK to Taipei. Switching operations from Newark to JFK means it's now that much easier for American travelers to hop an EVA flight and connect at TPE to one of the Hello Kitty jets.
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If you've ever considered a getaway to Taiwan, now is the time because on this upcoming Monday, Taiwanese airline EVA Air will launch threecount 'emthree Airbus A330s each painted with a unique Hello Kitty design.
This will be the second time EVA makes a splash with the Sanrio character as they previously had two planes bearing the cartoon kitty-cat, but retired that livery back in 2009. See a picture of the old design here. This year, however, the airline has added a third plane and freshened up the entire look, which includes everything from the flight attendant aprons to the sugar packets onboard, all Hello Kitty-themed.
Weird Travel / Taipei Travel / TPE / Airport News / Airports / Taiwan Travel / → All Tags
Watching the movie "The Terminal" or reading the Alain de Botton book A Week at the Airport can make you have crazy ideas, like perhaps that living in an airport for a period of time would be awesome. Tom Hanks kind of finds romance, de Botton eats a ton of room service and listens to the melodramatic life stories of travelers passing through Heathrow's Terminal 5; it all seems so nice and easy.
This week however, those daydreaming about living at an airport got a wakeup call when a Japanese man was found to be doing just that in Taipei International Airport, after running out of money and overstaying his visa. Masaaki Tanaka subsisted on soy sauce and wasabi packets while searching the airport floor for loose change. Hmmnot so glamorous.