Airline Adds Purrty Hello Kitty Plane

Calling all Hello Kitty fans! Starting this June, there’s a (purrr-ty) big reason to holiday in Taiwan or Singapore.

On Wednesday, January 7th, Taiwan’s EVA Air announced it would be making its Hello Kitty-themed flights to Singapore a permanent fixture starting June 2015. The news comes following the “overwhelming success” the flights had in December of last year.

EVA Air first launched their campaign to create the Hello Kitty-themed jets in October 2005. A year later, the airline launched a second jet featuring the popular character. Although the original Hello Kitty livery was retired in 2009, in 2011 EVA Air announced its return in redesigned form to mark the carrier’s 20th anniversary and renew interest in Japanese tourism. For this occasion, EVA Air had ordered brand-new Airbus A330-300s to be painted in an all-new Hello Kitty guise.

After the launch of the new jets, EVA Air decided to introduce two additional jets launched in May and June 2012 – the fourth and fifth Hello Kitty jets are known as “Hello Kitty Speed Puff” and “Hello Kitty Happy Music” respectively.

Officially starting on June 21st, the new scheduled flights will fly between Changi Airport and Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport, in addition to EVA Air’s daily existing flights between both cities. The airline will also be releasing a new Hello Kitty theme created exclusively for the EVA Air B777-300ER aircraft, it said in a statement.

“After experiencing an overwhelming demand of our Hello Kitty jets when we introduced chartered flights between Singapore and Taipei (in December 2014), we knew Singapore had to be our first destination in South-east Asia to host our next Hello Kitty-themed aircraft,” said Austin Cheng, EVA Air President.

“As Singapore is a popular tourism hub, we are proud to be able to extend our flight expansion plans into Singapore.”

What’s more, each aircraft comes with over 100 in-flight service items featuring the loveable icon, including limited edition duty free products, and Hello Kitty-themed food, pillows, and even restroom amenities.

Produced by the Japanese company Sanrio and originally created by Yuko Shimizu, Hello Kitty is a fictional character that is portrayed as a white Japanese Bobtail cat with a red hair-bow. He first appearance on an item, a vinyl coin purse, was introduced in Japan in 1974 and brought to the United States in 1976. Although she was initially marketed for pre-adolescent females, Hello Kitty’s market has broadened over the years and now includes adult consumers as well.

To date, EVA Air has launched the Hello Kitty-themed jet on flights from Taiwan to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, China, Guam and Paris. Singapore will receive the seventh variant of the Hello Kitty aircraft (there are currently six), the airline said, and will be the first South-east Asian country to host the flight.