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Hokkaido debuts Pokemon-themed flight in bid for tourism to soar

The asymmetrical Pokemon-themed airplane design is seen in this image taken from the website of airline Airdo Co. (Mainichi)

SAPPORO -- In a bid to bring tourism back to Hokkaido, the prefectural government has teamed up with a local airline and The Pokemon Company to deck out one of its passenger planes with a Pokemon-themed design to transport travelers from Dec. 1, it was announced Nov. 8.

    The service on Sapporo-based airline Airdo Co, called Rokon Jet Hokkaido, aims to benefit from Pokemon's popularity in bringing some vitality to Hokkaido's tourism industry, which has slumped due to the effects of the coronavirus. The plane's design features fox-style Pokemon characters Vulpix and Alolan Vulpix, who were also used in the 2018 Hokkaido Aficionado Expedition campaign, in which Alolan Vulpix was leader and Vulpix their deputy.

    The exterior of the Airdo-operated plane, a Boeing 767-300ER with 270 seats, sports a yellow motif for Vulpix on its right side and a blue motif for Alolan Vulpix on the left, creating a special asymmetrical livery. Inside, the headrests and paper cups also feature the Pokemon.

    Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki said, "Coronavirus virus infections have calmed down. While taking thorough preparations, we hope that many people will ride the Rokon Jet to Hokkaido."

    (Japanese original by Nozomi Gemma, Hokkaido News Department)

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