Taipei, EVA Airways launched a special Father’s Day flight Saturday, with all 309 seats taken by Hello Kitty fans, on board a plane decorated with the popular Japanese cartoon character.
Flight BR5288, which sounds similar to “BR I love Dad” in Chinese, flew close to Japanese air space and then returned to Taiwan, as international air travel restrictions remain in effect in many countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the flight did not land during the trip, passengers said they were still excited because it satisfied their wanderlust at a time when international travel has become extremely difficult.
A passenger surnamed Lee (李) said he took the trip because his daughter, who he sometimes takes to airports to watch planes take off and land, asked him when she could fly on a plane again.
Lee said he felt “everything was worth it” when he saw his daughter’s smile during the journey.
The flight departed from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 10:30 a.m., taking a route across northeastern Taiwan, towards the Ryukyu Islands in Japan, then headed south along Taiwan’s east coast.
When the Airbus 330-300 reached Taiwan’s southern tip, it turned around and flew back, landing at Taoyuan airport at 1:15 p.m.
The trip cost NT$5,288 (US$179) for economy class and NT$6,288 for business class, with in-flight services including the sale of Hello Kitty souvenirs and a meal prepared from a recipe by a Michelin-ranked chef.
EVA President Clay Sun (孫嘉明) said the airline is considering similar services in the future, as market response has been strong.
China Airlines (CAL) also offered a similar trip on Sunday, targeting children aged 6-10 and their parents.
The children were given instructions on how to be a flight attendant and dressed up in a flight attendant’s uniform during a pre-flight class before boarding the Boeing 737-800 with their parents on a two-hour flight around the island.
Tickets for each parent-child pair cost NT$6,000 in economy class and NT$8,000 in business class, with participants able to dine both in CAL’s lounge and on board.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel