Special Flights

ANA BB-8 Jet Last Flight Photo Session

Goodbye, BB-8 ANA Jet! (A Dramatic Last Day and a Great Last Flight)

Aviation enthusiasts in Japan and around the world got great news in mid-2015 when ANA announced a partnership with The Walt Disney Company to launch the ANA Star Wars Project which would include painting aircraft in special liveries. Eventually, four aircraft – Star Wars ANA Jet, R2D2 ANA Jet, BB-8 ANA Jet, and C3PO ANA …

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Bear Do Hokkaido Jet Last Flight

Farewell, Bear Do Hokkaido Jet! (& All About Air Do’s Bear Do Jets)

Whether it is Pokemon or Mickey Mouse-themed aircraft, Japan is well-known for colorful special liveries. Perhaps the lesser-known of those were the Bear Do aircraft operated by Air Do. While none of the Bear Do aircraft is in operation anymore (Air Do now operates the Rokon Jet), there were three generations of the livery between …

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Air Do Inaugural Flight Photo Session

Air Do Rokon Jet Inaugural: Flying on Japan’s Latest Pokemon Jet

Loving aviation and having grown up watching and playing Pokemon, I was sad to see ANA’s last Pokemon Jet retired in 2016. While ANA introduced its Star Wars-themed aircraft in the meantime, I never liked them quite as much as I did the Pokemon Jets. As such, I was really excited to see Skymark paint …

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JAL Dream Express Fantasia 80 Cup

JAL Disney Jets: Their History and Flying on the Latest One

Arguably, very few (if any) airlines can rival Japan’s ANA and JAL when it comes to special liveries. While the former is famous for the Pokemon jets it used to fly until 2016 and the Star Wars jets that it flies to this day, the latter has partnered with Disney. In addition to sponsoring a …

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ANA 737-500

Flying on a “Super Dolphin” and a Brief History of ANA’s 737s

On June 14, 2020, ANA operated its last commercial Boeing 737-500 flight. That left only the Next-Generation “-700s” and “-800s.” in its fleet. Considering that JAL and other Japanese airlines nowadays only operate the Next-Generation 737s as well, the era of 737 Classics in Japan came to an end. While I didn’t have a chance …

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Oriental Air Bridge: A Vital Link to Nagasaki's Outlying Islands

Oriental Air Bridge: A Vital Link to Nagasaki’s Outlying Islands

While airlines like ANA and JAL represent Japan around the world, there are also much smaller Japanese airlines that, among other things, focus on connecting the country’s main islands with its smaller outlying islands. With Nagasaki Prefecture being home to 51 of the more than 300 inhabited ones, it is no surprise that an airline …

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Fifth Freedom, First Class: Onboard Cathay's Flight from Vancouver to New York

Fifth Freedom, First Class: Onboard Cathay’s Flight from Vancouver to New York

Flying Cathay Pacific’s first class on its fifth freedom flight between Vancouver and New York is arguably the most luxurious way to get between the two costs of North America right now. Unfortunately, earlier this year, the airline announced that it would be discontinuing the flight next spring. Looking at its reservation system reveals that …

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NASA DC-8 Cockpit During Blue Hour

Flying on the NASA DC-8: Observing an Airborne Science Lab in Action

NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center operates a number of aircraft out of Building 703 at Palmdale airport. Among those, two airliners from yesteryear – a Boeing 747SP and a Douglas DC-8 – that found a new life as research aircraft can be found. Last year, I had a chance to fly on the larger one …

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New Terminal, New Era: Onboard Jetstar Japan's Inaugural Flight from Tokyo to Shimojishima

New Terminal, New Era: Onboard Jetstar Japan’s Inaugural Flight from Tokyo to Shimojishima

Over the last couple of years, I took quite a few “special” flights – whether inaugurals or farewells. Among others, I was on Air France’s inaugural 787 flight, on the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400CC inaugural flight, as well as on the Cathay Pacific 747 farewell flight. That said, I’d never been on an inaugural flight …

New Terminal, New Era: Onboard Jetstar Japan’s Inaugural Flight from Tokyo to Shimojishima Read More »

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