Earlier this year, Japan’s leading airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) launched their Star Wars themed Boeing-787-9s that will take to the skies on their overseas routes. This time round, national carrier Japan Airlines (JAL) decided to go with something more appealing to the kids! In a strange twist, the airline decided to go with a character that is not of Japanese origin but has certainly made an impact on the Japanese Disney otaku scene: Duffy the Disney Bear!
Duffy is extremely popular among young women in Japan and merchandise of him can be found all over Tokyo DisneySea. His fans have purchased a plethora of costumes to dress him up in and for the more dedicated ones: hand-made costumes to allow him to cosplay as their idols or lesser-known Disney characters. His popularity is so prevalent to the point that there are various stands all across Tokyo DisneySea dedicated for fans who wish to snap the perfect shot of their Duffy plush toys and even new characters to accompany the little bear such as Shellie May.
What better way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his induction into Japan than to put him on Japan’s iconic national airline? Starting from 14 July 2015, fans can go on board four of Japan Airlines’ Boeing 737-800 planes which will feature Duffy’s cute little Mickey Mouse silhouetted face and a “Journeys with Duffy” phrase. Duffy on the plane livery will sport a sailor outfit. JAL even gave the special planes a very appropriate name which is the JAL Happy Journey Express!
That’s not all. Like ANA’s Pokemon jet freebies for young passengers, kids on board JAL’s Duffy flight will receive original Duffy clear folders and postcards! Fans will be glad to know that the special Duffy jets will take to the skies until April 2016! Unlike ANA’s Star Wars jet though, JAL’s Duffy jet will only operate on domestic flights. Perhaps you can go on a magical winter journey to Hokkaido with Duffy!
The very first flight that will be operated by one of the four JAL Happy Journey Express planes is none other than JL435 which will take off from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and head for Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture.
If you love Duffy as much as this author this (she has her own Duffy purse purchased from Tokyo DisneySea) but your travels are pretty much limited to Tokyo, fret not! Tokyo DisneySea itself is offering a wide range of celebratory activities within the parks as well! More details can be found here!
Featured image courtesy of Japan Airlines’ Press Release