All Nippon Airways got in on the Star Wars buzz this week when it shuttled the movie’s cast and crew from the world premiere in Hollywood to the UK premiere in its custom R2-D2 ANA JET, a Boeing 787-9.
Stars of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” -- including Harrison Ford and newcomers Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, the director of The Force Awakens J.J. Abrams, and producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy -- flew on the chartered flight from Los Angeles to London. The flight number of the trip was NH 1977, in honor of the first Star Wars film release in 1977.
The R2-D2 ANA JET is the first ever aircraft in the world to feature a Star Wars character on its exterior and is a product of an agreement between ANA and The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd.
First unveiled at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, Calif., earlier this year, the R2-D2 ANA JET -- a Boeing 787-9 -- started its regular flight in October and now flies to various destinations, including Europe, Asia, China and the U.S.
At the world premiere, a large aircraft modeled after the BB-8 ANA JET took to the red carpet. The jet is another aircraft decorated with special livery featuring BB-8, the new Star Wars droid introduced in the film. The jet is a Boeing 777-300ER and is scheduled to begin its service on international routes on March 2016 between the North America and Japan route.
Japan’s largest airline is proud to be part of the global celebration, says Osamu Shinobe, president and CEO of ANA.
“As we fly passengers to Japan and across the world, we aim to provide our guests with the magic and joy that these films spark,” Shinobe says in a release.