What would Christmas be without a little Hello Kitty under the tree? Or, in this case, a LOT of Hello Kitty in the form of an airplane!
Okay, settle down…Yes, there will be a new Hello Kitty jet, but it won’t actually be under the tree. Just in time for the holidays, Taiwan’s EVA Air announced a new addition to the litter – er, fleet – to debut next summer. The news is even better for American fans and travelers: along with the new Boeing 777-300ER is a new route connecting Taipei and Houston, beginning in June 2015. We know, you need a moment here.
American enthusiasts were purring with delight back in 2013 when the Hello Kitty themed “Sanrio Family Hand-in-Hand” touched down at LAX, entering service between Taipei and LA. That big, new Boeing 777 was the first of the famed Hello Kitty jets to fly to the US and, at the time, it was on the longest route flown by the adorable fleet of themed planes. Sadly, the City of Lights outshone the City of Angels, and the Hello Kitty jet was transitioned to the Taipei-Paris route in October of 2014, much like a kitten chasing a laser pointer. Sad face emojis reportedly skyrocketed throughout LAX.
Passengers will likely turn those frowns upside down aboard the new jet. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist!) Along with the Hello Kitty mania and in-flight entertainment, the plane will be equipped with Wi-Fi and SMS roaming service, so you can text while flying. There will be three classes of service: 238 economy seats, 56 in premium economy, and a 39 seat Royal Laurel Class business section. (That’s seating for 333 total.)
This new aircraft will be the seventh Hello Kitty jet, and the second Triple-7 to sport the Sanrio livery, though no theme or name has been announced yet. If you’ve never seen inside one of the Hello Kitty aircrafts, you might be surprised at the level to which the theme is taken. Literally everything from boarding passes and luggage stickers, to toilet tissue and eating utensils, is themed. More than 100 service items in all, on each flight.
For those keeping track, EVA Air is the fourth major Asian carrier to start or add service at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport recently, joining All Nippon, Air China, and Korean Air.