The new B787-9 aircraft features the special livery as part of a five-year ‘Star Wars Project’ partnership between ANA and The Walt Disney Company. While further details of the collaboration are yet to be revealed, ANA said it would include “a range of novel initiatives… [and] a new world full of surprises”.
The R2-D2 aircraft will start flying this autumn on routes to the US, and the tie-up forms part of ANA’s strategy to expand in North America.
“ANA boasts an extensive international network, along with convenient connections between the US and a wide variety of destinations throughout Asia,” said Takashi Shiki, ANA’s executive vice president of sales & marketing.
“Although it’s a lofty goal, we hope that like Star Wars, ANA will become well known and loved across all borders and generations.
“The R2-D2 motif works well with ANA’s blue logo design on the aircraft’s fuselage, and many people associate R2-D2 with competent and reliable service — also hallmarks of ANA,” he added.
ANA’s US expansion will continue in June with the launch of flights to Houston, its 10th North American destination. The airline, which was the launch customer of the B787, has now taken delivery of 34 Dreamliner aircraft, and has a further 46 on order.