Taipei, April 20 (CNA) China Airlines (CAL) said on Thursday it will launch flights to Japan using an aircraft featuring three cartoon bear characters and decorated with images representing Taiwan's Tourism Bureau, Kaohsiung City and Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan.
The jet, dubbed "Buddy Bears," is decorated with images of "Oh!Bear," "Hero" and "Kumamon" which it is hoped will help boost tourism, CAL said.
"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 carrier said in a statement.
In addition, the right side of fuselage will be decorated with images of spring green grass from Taiwan along with the 85 Sky Tower, a well-known Kaohsiung landmark and Taiwan's purple milkweed butterfly, according to the airline.
The other side of the aircraft will be decorated with spring cherry blossoms from Japan's Kyushu, where Kumamoto is located, as well as the 400 year-old Kumamoto Castle and Mt. Aso volcano, it said.
The Boeing 737-800 flight will make its maiden flight on May 26, and provide three round-trip flights per week between Kaohsiung and Kumamoto, CAL said.
In the future, the aircraft will also fly Kaohsiung to Tokyo, Osaka and Okinawa, according to the company.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)