When Pokemon celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2021, I had a feeling that Pokemon-themed aircraft would make a comeback in one way or another. At that point, however, I had no idea that over the next couple of years, there would be multiple such special liveries featured on aircraft belonging to multiple airlines not only in Japan but around Asia.
I was even more surprised when in January 2023, Solaseed Air announced that it would be painting one of its aircraft in a full-scale special livery for the first time. The aircraft, Nassy Jet Miyazaki featuring primarily the Pokemon Exeggutor, entered into service on March 2, 2023.
Luckily, I was able to be on Nassy Jet’s first two revenue flights. Continue reading to learn more about the aircraft and see what the flights were like.
Sorakoi Project and Nassy Resort in Miyazaki Jet
As mentioned in the introduction, the new Nassy Jet is Solaseed Air’s first full-scale special livery. That said, it is actually not the airline’s first Pokemon-themed aircraft. That title belongs to the now non-existent Nassy Resort in Miyazaki Jet which the airline operated as part of its Sorakoi Project.
Solaseed Air started the project in August 2012 to promote various destinations in Kyushu and Okinawa – the two regions its route network is focused on. As part of the Sorakoi Project, Solaseed Air decorates its aircraft with decals promoting these destinations and operates those liveries for about a year each.
With the Pokemon Exeggutor (Nassy in Japanese) having been named the “Pokemon that loves Miyazaki” and Solaseed Air being headquartered in Miyazaki in Kyushu, it only made sense for the two to partner up. The resulting Nassy Resort in Miyazaki Jet (Boeing 737-800 registered JA812X) entered into service on December 19, 2020, and operated its last flight on September 28, 2022.
On the outside, the aircraft featured Exeggutor decals on one side and Alolan Exeggutor decals on the other. It also had some additional Exeggutor-themed decals next to the doors. On the inside, it featured Exeggutor-themed headrest covers.
Nassy Jet Miyazaki: Solaseed Air’s First Full-Scale Special Livery
The concept of the new full-scale Nassy Jet special livery is basically the same as that of its not-as-eye-catching predecessor – to promote Miyazaki.
Solaseed Air ferried the 737-800 that would become the Nassy Jet (JA803X) to Naha in Okinawa on February 12, 2023. There, it was painted into the livery by MRO Japan which also did Air Do’s Rokon Jet livery for example. The aircraft was ferried back to Tokyo on March 1, 2023, the day before its inaugural flight.
While there are slight differences, both sides of Nassy Jet’s fuselage feature Solaseed Air’s signature green color together with sun/sea/flower motives. Both regular and Alolan Exeggutor (Nassy in Japanse) are featured prominently on both sides – the aircraft is dedicated to them after all. That said, a couple of other Pokemon including Alolan Raichu make an appearance too.
Four windows from which an Alolan Exeggutor and Raichu peek are painted on the bottom of the fuselage. Additionally, the aircraft’s main landing gear’s wheels and the outside of winglets feature Poké Balls.
On the inside, the left winglet features a couple of Exeggutors while the right winglet features an Alolan Exeggutor.
Nassy Jet Interior: It’s Not Just the Livery
As is common with full-scale special liveries in Japan, the theming that can be found on the aircraft’s exterior is reflected inside the aircraft as well, both in terms of hardware as well as service.
First of all, the seats’ headrest covers feature both an Exeggutor and an Alolan Exeggutor in a design similar to the livery itself. Unlike on some of the other special livery aircraft in Japan, all of the headrest covers on the aircraft are the same.
Additionally, the aircraft’s tray tables are decorated with Pokemon-themed stickers too.
The side visible when the tray table is closed features a sticker indicating the seat’s letter (e.g. “A” for seat 6A). With the 737 being in a 3-3 six abreast layout, there are six different types of stickers (A through F), each featuring a different Pokemon.
On the table side, a Poké Ball sticker is decorating the drink holder.
The last seat-related decoration can be found in rows 4 and 7. These rows feature special seat row indicators with an Alolan Exeggutor on the ABC-side and an Exeggutor on the DEF-side.
If you are wondering why these two rows and not others on the plane, it’s because of Exeggutor’s Japanese name, Nassy sounds like 7-4 in Japanese (“Na” for “nana” and “ssy” for “shi”).
In addition to the above, on the lavatory mirrors, there are also stickers of an Alolan Raichu washing hands with an Exeggutor standing in the background. While I only visited one of the lavatories, I assume the stickers are the same in each of them.
In terms of service, drinks onboard Nassy Jet are served in special cups featuring three aircraft windows out of which Exeggutor, Alolan Exeggutor, and Alolan Raichu are looking out. To round up the experience, the cabin crew wears Pokemon-themed aprons during drink service.
Lastly, passengers flying on the aircraft can also get Exeggutor-themed postcards and boarding certificates.
Flying Onboard Nassy Jet’s First Two Flights
On March 2, 2023, the first day of its operation, Nassy Jet was deployed on six flights: Tokyo Haneda – Miyazaki – Naha – Kobe – Naha – Miyazaki – Tokyo Haneda. As mentioned in the introduction, I flew on the first two flights:
- Tokyo Haneda to Miyazaki which was the livery’s actual first revenue flight
- Miyazaki to Naha which was the livery’s second revenue flight but the official inaugural flight due to Solaseed Air being headquartered in Miyazaki
Going forward, it appears that for some dates, Solaseed Air will publish Nassy Jet’s schedule here while for others the schedule will not be published in advance.
The First Revenue Flight (Solaseed Air Flight 51 from Tokyo to Miyazaki)
With the official inaugural flight being the second revenue flight, no event was held at Haneda prior to the departure of the flight to Miyazaki.
That said, there was a Pokemon-themed frame around the boarding pass scanner at gate 54 where the flight departed from. The same frame was also at the departure gate in Miyazaki. I’m not sure whether it can also be found at other gates.
At the aircraft door, in addition to being greeted by the cabin crew, passengers were also “greeted” by a pair of Exeggutor stuffed toys.
Even after everyone was settled in their seats, the cabin remained fairly empty. With the flight being on a weekday, there were also relatively few aviation (or Pokemon for that matter) enthusiasts onboard.
Prior to our pushback at 6:53AM – three minutes behind schedule – one of the flight attendants made a welcome announcement. Besides the usual things like introducing the crew and mentioning our flight time would be 1 hour and 31 minutes, she also mentioned that we would be flying together with “Nassy, the Pokemon that loves Miyazaki.”
During taxi, JAL’s Disney Jet was visible in the distance making its way to the departure runway. We took off from runway 16R at 7:04AM.
Once the seatbelt signs were switched off about 12 minutes after take-off, the cabin crew started preparing for the drink service. Green tea, coffee, apple juice, and soup were offered; I had the latter two.
The rest of the flight, I spent taking photos, chatting with a friend that I was traveling with, and just enjoying the flight.
At one point, one of the pilots also made an announcement mentioning we were flying at 24,000 feet and were expecting to arrive five minutes early, at 8:35AM. He also mentioned that it was Nassy Jet’s first day in service and that because of that Nassy didn’t know the flight route and so needed help from the cockpit crew.
The pilot also said that the latest evolution of Nassy, i.e. the Nassy Jet itself, was capable of flying at an altitude of up to 40,000 feet.
Later on, another announcement was made from the flight deck. This time, the pilot mentioned that there was a large Nassy in the Miyazaki airport terminal and that there are Pokemon-themed manhole covers (“pokefuta”) around Miyazaki.
The seatbelt signs were turned back on at 8:17AM and at 8:31AM, we landed on runway 27. At that point, another announcement was made saying that gift bags and boarding certificates would be handed out after deboarding.
We came to a full stop at gate 8 at 8:33AM, seven minutes ahead of schedule. Soon after, I got off the aircraft – not for too long, though – and got my gift bag (more about its contents later on) from one of the Solaseed Air staff members.
The Official Inaugural (Solaseed Air Flight 67 from Miyazaki to Naha)
By the time I got into the terminal, the inaugural ceremony was nearing its end at gate 8. In addition to an Exeggutor and a couple of Solaseed Air flight attendants, Hiroshi Takahashi, the airline’s CEO, and a few other guests were present.
A ribbon cutting ceremony and a photo session were held after speeches from the guests were over (I arrived just as the last one, the CEO’s was ending).
With a bit less than 30 minutes to spare after the inaugural ceremony was over, I decided to go airside to see the Pokemon-themed decorations in the terminal. The one that stood out the most was an Alolan Exeggutor “balloon” in the terminal’s atrium that the pilot mentioned in his announcement.
There was also an Alolan Exeggutor photo stand-in right across from the “balloon.”
Back airside, I got a few photos of Nassy Jet through the terminal’s windows. By this time, the Exeggutor that was participating in the inaugural ceremony was walking outside on the apron, posing for photos.
Then, I boarded Nassy Jet’s second flight and its official inaugural, flight 6J67 to Naha in Okinawa. During boarding, Solaseed Air staff was once again handing out gift bags. Onboard, I was welcomed by the same crew that operated the flight from Tokyo to Miyazaki and then continued on to Kobe from Naha.
We were pushed back at 9:14AM – one minute ahead of schedule. As we taxied out of the apron, we were sent off by the Exeggutor as well as quite a few people both on the apron (media, staff, etc.) and on the airport’s observation deck.
Not long after that, we reached runway 27 end and took off bound for Naha at 9:23AM. While climbing out, we were offered great views of Miyazaki.
While this was the official inauguration of the aircraft, the flight was relatively uneventful compared to the actual first flight. Seatbelt signs were switched off about ten minutes after take-off at which point drinks were served.
About half an hour into the flight, the captain made an announcement that we were expecting an on-time arrival at Naha airport where it was 18 degrees Celsius and cloudy.
Considering that the flight was quite uneventful, I used the time to get some of the photos shown in the first half of this article as well as to go through the gift bags.
Both the one I received as part of the flight to Miyazaki and the one I received before the flight to Naha included a boarding certificate, a document folder with the same design as the postcard shown earlier on one side and a Nassy Jet logo on the other, a sticker with the same logo, and a Miyazaki tourist map. The official inaugural flight’s gift bag also included a pack of “gobochi” (burdock chips).
It’s also worth noting that the boarding certificate was a special “holo” version exclusive to Nassy Jet’s first day in operation. From the next day onward, they were replaced by regular non-holo certificates.
Seatbelt signs were switched back on at 10:26AM and at 10:47AM, we landed on Naha airport’s runway 36L. We reached our parking spot at 10:53AM – two minutes ahead of schedule.
After landing and after parking at the arrival gate, the standard announcements were made supplemented by announcements related to the special livery.
Once most of the passengers got off, I (as well as a couple of other aviation enthusiasts) spent some time taking photos of the cabin and the crew.
Then, I got off and stepped into the terminal. Not for too long, though, as I decided to reschedule my flight to an earlier one and head straight back to Tokyo after just an hour instead of two hours in Naha.
Being both an aviation enthusiast and a Pokemon fan, there are very few aviation-related things that make me happier than seeing new Pokemon-themed aircraft enter into service. While the recent generation of Pokemon Jets will never be able to replace the original ANA ones, they are still a very welcome sight in Japan’s and other countries’ skies.
After having had a chance to fly on the unofficial last flight of ANA’s Pokemon Peace Jet, Air Do’s Rokon Jet last flight, and Skymark Airlines’ Pikachu Jet BC2’s inaugural, I am happy to have been able to be onboard Solaseed Air’s Nassy Jet’s first two flights as well.