Since 1998, All Nippon Airways has rolled out Pokémon Jets, which are planes covered in Pocket Monsters. The themed planes have been wrapped in an array of Pokémon over the years, with fans in Japan either hoping to spot them at airports, or ride them to their destination.
One thing that has always been constant, however, is that the Pokémon Jets have been ANA planes. Now, a new Pokémon themed plane will take to the skies over Japan, but it’s not classified Pokémon Jet because it’s not an ANA airplane.
Instead, this is called the Vulpix Jet Hokkaido and will fly in the fleet of low-cost regional carrier, Air Do, which services Japan’s northernmost prefecture. One side of the plane features Vulpix, while the other is covered in the ice-type Alolan Vulpix. Inside the plane, the seats have Vulpix headrest covers. Beverages will be served in Vulpix paper cups by flight attendants wearing Vulpix aprons. What’s more, passengers can get limited edition postcards and stickers.
But why Vulpix? The Pokémon are used to promote Hokkaido, appearing on manhole covers as well as snacks and food items.
“Alolan Vulpix is known as the Fox Pokémon and thrives in snow mountains,” writes the official Pokémon site. “It was chosen to promote Hokkaido, one of Japan’s snowiest regions. Vulpix, also in the Fox Pokémon category, assists Alolan Vulpix with showcasing the best of what Hokkaido has to offer residents and visitors.”
Since ANA is a major investor in Air Do, it’s not a complete surprise that The Pokémon Company signed off on these Vulpix jets.
The Vulpix Jet Hokkaido will begin service on December 1 from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, flying to locations in Hokkaido such as the New Chitose Airport, as well as the Asahikawa Airport and Hakodate Airport.
Currently, tourists are banned from entering Japan, so some readers might worry they won’t get a chance to see the Vulpix plane in real life. Don’t be. The Vulpix Jet Hokkaido is scheduled to be in service for at least five years, so international Pokémon fans should be able to experience the plane firsthand, once the country fully opens up.