EVA Air’s ‘Hand in Hand’ special livery is being retired

Apr 23, 2021

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One of the most colourful planes in the sky will soon get a new paint job. EVA Air announced it is retiring its famous “Hand in Hand” livery featuring Sanrio characters, including Hello Kitty.

The “Hand in Hand” Boeing 777 will wrap up its flight schedule in the current livery on 16 May, when the plane will then be repainted in the airline’s traditional scheme and all the unique interior design touches that made the plane kawaii will be removed.

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Registered as B-16703, the Boeing 777-300ER is nearly 15 years old, according to Planespotters.net, and was painted in the “Hand in Hand” livery in 2013. According to data from FlightRadar24, the aircraft has most recently been flying between Taipei (TPE) and the U.S. — Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO). The airline said that it will fly to San Francisco again before the livery is retired.

The “Hand in Hand” 777 jet earned its name because the paint scheme shows the popular Hello Kitty character holding hands with other characters created by the Sanrio company. EVA has had a fleet of Hello Kitty jets in the sky for years. The flights are famous for their themed experience, with everything from the boarding passes to onboard pillows and even the toilet paper carrying the iconic Hello Kitty branding.

Related: Flying the Hello Kitty 777 from Chicago to Taipei

It’s not clear what this means for EVA’s other Hello Kitty planes — an A330 and 777-300ER — which have provided a profitable boost to the airline’s bottom line over the years. So far, the “Hand in Hand” jet is the only one losing the special branding. Part of the reason behind the move could be cost management as the airline looks to bounce back after a tumultuous year thanks to the pandemic. The Hello Kitty in-flight experience has been suspended since 1 April 2020 due to COVID-19.

Related: 16 airline liveries that will catch any AvGeek’s eye

If you want to get one last look at the Hello Kitty jet, EVA has a special website dedicated to Hello Kitty flights.

Featured photo by Mark Sullivan/Getty Images.

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