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Taiwan's Hello Kitty to fly cross-strait flights

(Chinanews.com)

14:03, May 24, 2012

(CNS/Pan Suofei)

Edited and translated by Huang Beibei, People's Daily Online

Taiwanese airline company EVA Air has transformed two of its Airbus A330-300 airplanes into airborne tributes to Japanese icon Hello Kitty. On May 23, a Hello Kitty painting machine of Taiwan's EVA Air completed its maiden voyage to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport.

Zhang Wei, general manager of the EVA Air, said that air travel is not just about tickets, but also about showing the charm and vitality. He hoped that a little creativity can make visitors feel the warmth and peace of mind, and help strengthen the exchanges between the two sides.

The adorable kitten created by Sanrio in 1974 has become a powerhouse brand in Asia, worth several billion dollars. Everybody seems to love Hello Kitty so EVA Air decided to associate itself with it in an attempt to boost their struggling sector. Analysts say there is no risk in the move, and that despite having to pay Sanrio a sum of licensing fee, the company has a high chance of reaching its goal. After all, this is their third Hello Kitty plane, so they must have had some success with the previous two.

EVA Air associated itself with the Hello Kitty Brand in 2005 for the first time, when it launched its first themed aircraft. It had giant Hello Kitty motifs painted on the outside and featured all kinds of interior fittings inspired by the popular character. But this time, EVA Air is taking things to another level. Apart from the big drawings, themed-headrests, tissues, paper cups, utensils, hand-washing liquid, hand lotion and on-board menus, Hello Kitty fans will get custom tickets and go through a pink Hello Kitty check-in.

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