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Themed Aircraft: Pokémon Jet

In conjunction with the release of Pokémon: The First Movie, All Nippon Airways unveiled the first Pokémon Jets on 1 July 1998. First two aircraft featured 151 Pokémon characters, including Pikachu, on their bodies, including Boeing 747-400Ds and Boeing 767-300s. It wasn’t long after the first 767 was unveiled that a second one was unveiled.

The 3 aircrafts were introduced on numerous domestic flights in Japan. A fourth aircraft, a Boeing 747-400, was painted in a Pokémon theme in February 1999, and was called the US version by the airline, as it was put into service on the airline’s North American network. The aircraft was identical to the previous three aircrafts, except the letters ANA were kept on the vertical stabilizer and operated its first flight to New York City’s JFK International Airport on 24 February 1999.

Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ low-cost subsidiary, has decorated a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a special Pokémon theme. In addition to regular service across the Scoot network from September 2022, Pickachu Jet TR will be used for special Pokémon-themed flights as part of the Pokemon Air Adventures project. It is also, the first non-Japanese airline to feature a Pokémon.

A Japanese airline with a base at Miyazaki Airport, Solaseed Air, introduced an updated Boeing 737-800 in December 2020, after nearly four years without Pokémon.

The original plan for ANA airlines in 2011 was to choose a design for the new themed aircraft through a contest. After the 2011 earthquake, the airline decided to suspend the contest. The chosen design by the airline, symbolized a peaceful world and was named the Peace Jet and was painted on a Boeing 777-300 from 2011 to 2016.

The latest Pokémon-themed jet and the first to feature in Taiwan, is one of the first Airbus A321neo aircraft to be delivered to China Airlines. Featuring 11 Pokémon characters, the Pokémon Company designed it exclusively for the airline, and it uses bright, vivid colors to complement China Airlines color scheme.

Trivia

During flights on ANA Pokémon Jets in the year 2000, a pin depicting Pikachu and Pichu was given to each person who was traveling.

Occasionally ANA would held distribution events for the celebration of new Pokémon Jets or other seasonal events in Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Japan, for Japanese versions of the main series games.

A Flying Pikachu was first distributed in 2004 for Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, and LeafGreen Versions in commendation of the launch of Pikachu Jumbo and Ohana Jumbo.

A Darkrai was distributed on Winter 2010 for Black and White Versions in partnership with Pokémon Center in promotion for their winter vacation event.

Another Flying Pikachu was distributed in 2011 for Black and White Versions in commendation to the launch of Peace Jet.

In 1998, an exclusive print of Flying Pikachu depicting an aircraft in the background and a Dragonite was released in the “Pokémon Getaways” campaign; passengers of the flight could redeem their boarding passes for these two cards.

The ANA Pikachu Jumbo was featured in the Pikachu shorts Pikachu’s Exploration Club, Pikachu’s Ice Adventure, and Pikachu’s Big Sparking Search.

In 2020, as part of The Pokémon Company’s partnership with Japan’s tourist board, a Solaseed Air jet received decals featuring Exeggutor and Alolan Exeggutor, as well as decorations inside the plane.

The Pikachu Jet is expanding its reaches in a few days’ time, with The Pokemon Company announcing that the novelty plane fleet will have an even busier 2023 itinerary. The expansion concerns China Airlines’ ongoing “Pokemon Air Adventure” series.

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