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OUT OF THE BAG: Sanrio has taken its Hello Kitty brand to new heights after Wednesday’s inaugural flight for the EVA Air Hello Kitty Hand-in-Hand jet landed at LAX en route from Taipei. Hard to miss, the plane is painted nose-to-tail with colorful, oversized images of Hello Kitty & her Sanrio friends hand-in hand.
Upon arrival in Los Angeles, there were private cabin tours for Hello Kitty fans and Sanrio VIPs. The guest of honor also made a cameo, as did lead designer Yuko Yamaguchi. Passengers start their Hello Kitty jet experience as soon during check-in, when they pick up Hello Kitty boarding passes and baggage stickers. In-flight, attendants wear pink Hello Kitty aprons and more than 100 sundries including headrests, utensils and hand cream carry images of their favorite feline. There are also limited edition Hello Kitty duty-free products that travelers can buy mid-flight.
While the new Hello Kitty jet operates weekly international flights between Los Angeles and Taipei, EVA Air also has five shorter-range Hello Kitty aircraft in Asia — with regional flights between Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Mainland China and Guam. And Sanrio has 80 Hello Kitty stores worldwide.