China Airlines unveiled today the “Buddy Bears Liveried Aircraft” in partnership with the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Kaohsiung City Government, and the Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan. Taiwan’s OhBear, Kaohsiung’s Hero and Japan’s Kumamon will appear together on a China Airlines liveried aircraft for the first time. The cute and playful ambassadors for tourism will join passengers in the sky, market Taiwan on the international stage and highlight the friendship between Taiwan and Japan.
The first flight of the China Airlines 737-800 “Buddy Bears Liveried Aircraft” will depart on May 26. There will be 3 regular Kaohsiung-Kumamoto services each week offering 8 Business Class and 150 Economy Class seats. Fans can also look forward to the aircraft being assigned to fly future services from Kaohsiung to Tokyo, Osaka and Okinawa. The theme “Buddy Bears Let’s Play! ” chosen by China Airlines this time brings together the most popular mascots from Taiwan and Japan. The right fuselage of the liveried aircraft will feature the green grass of Taiwan in spring along with 85 Sky Tower, a well-known Kaohsiung landmark, and the distinctive purple butterfly; the left fuselage will be decorated with the spring cherry blossoms of Kyushu as well as the 400 year-old Kumamoto Castle and famous Mt. Aso volcano.
As the flight coincides with the first anniversary of the Kumamoto Earthquake, Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu set up a live video link at the event to convey her greetings to Governor Ikuo Kabashima of Kumamoto Prefecture. She also presented Governor Kabashima with a good luck charm on behalf of the people of Taiwan and prayed for the recovery of Kumamoto.
As the leading brand in the Taiwanese airline industry, China Airlines has introduced several liveried aircraft in recent years including “Visiting Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan”, “Cloud Gate”, and the A350 “Mikado Pheasant.” These aircraft have been charged with the mission of communicating the beauty of Taiwan’s people, culture and land throughout the world. The latest “Buddy Bears Liveried Aircraft” is a joint effort between the Tourism Bureau, Kaohsiung City and Kumamoto Prefecture to boost tourism in both countries through Taiwanese-Japanese cooperation.
Chairman Ho Nuan-Hsuan said that China Airlines began flying the Kaohsiung-Kumamoto service on October 25, 2015. Since then, regular flights from Taiwan to Kyushu have expanded to 23 flights a week covering four prefectures: Fukuoka, Miyazaki, Kagoshima and Kumamoto. If the 2 weekly Taichung-Oita charter flights flown by Mandarin Airlines are included, the China Airlines Group is the undisputed leader of services to Kyushu.
The number of Japanese visitors flying direct to southern Taiwan have grown steadily in recent years. Kaohsiung's proximity to the mountains, sea, river and harbor means that China Airlines hopes to introduce more visitors to the city’s warmth and hospitality. Here they can discover the charms of the Love River aboard zero-emission solar-powered cruise boats, tour the city on double-decker tourism buses, and admire the rich cultural and natural beauty of this maritime city. (2017/04/19)