Report: Eva Air is bringing its ‘Hello Kitty’ branded planes to LAX in September

Eva Air is bringing one of its 'Hello Kitty' branded planes to Los Angeles, starting in September.

Eva Air is bringing one of its ‘Hello Kitty’ branded planes to Los Angeles, starting in September.

Try to contain your excitement.

Eva Air is bringing its Hello Kitty planes to Los Angeles, according to this report. The specially painted planes have been flying within Asia for some time, but this appears to be the first time they are coming to the United States.

According to the report,  the first Boeing 777-300ER with the paint job arrives in Los Angeles on Sept. 18. For some – though not me – this is probably exciting.

Want more information? Check out this slightly creepy Hello Kitty themed website maintained by the Taiwanese carrier.

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United Airlines — Vintage television advertisement of the week

Perhaps I’m biased, but I think some of the greatest television advertisements were made by airlines. Essentially, all carriers offer the same commodity, so they have to differentiate themselves, in part, with branding.

My favorite commercial of all time is the United Airlines one, above, called “Speech.” It’s from 1990, and I think it holds up pretty well – except for all those references to faxes. I believe it’s narrated by Gene Hackman. What do you think of it?

And what’s your favorite television advertisement? If you have time, link to it in the comments section.

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Want to buy a giant United Airlines airport sign? Now is your chance.

Here’s another reasons airlines are like sports teams. There’s a healthy market for branded memorabilia.

Today’s collection comes from United Airlines, which is auctioning off some stuff for charity. All of it carries the carrier’s old ‘U’ logo, which insiders call the “Tulip” because it looks like a flower. United merged with Continental a few years ago, and now its planes carry Continental’s globe logo.

Here’s some of what you can find on the site. The bad news is that it looks like you have to go Chicago to pick stuff up.

For five bucks, this beauty can be yours. What you would do with it, I do not know.

For five bucks, this beauty can be yours. What you would do with it, I do not know.

An umbrella will set you back $15. But you better hurry. There are only 180 left!

An umbrella will set you back $15. But you better hurry. There are only 180 left!

This sign is a mere $30. But you have to go pick it up. Given its size, that could be difficult.

This sign is a mere $30. But you have to go pick it up. Given its size, that could be difficult. But wouldn’t this be great in your living room?

For $10, this China poster can be yours. Only 32 are left.

For $10, this China poster can be yours. Only 32 are left. Unfortunately, the L.A. posters are sold out.

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JetBlue Airways may want to add flights in Long Beach. But is it possible?

JetBlue wants to add more flights at Long Beach Airport - but it won't be easy. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova/Staff Photographer.

JetBlue wants to add more flights at Long Beach Airport – but it won’t be easy. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova/Staff Photographer.

Last week, I wrote about how JetBlue wants a U.S. Customs facility at Long Beach Airport so it can add international flights there.

But that’s not the only thing on JetBlue’s Long Beach wish list. The airline also continues to want the rights to add more daily flights out of LGB, one of a handful of airports nationwide with daily departure caps. Long Beach allows 41 daily departures for planes heavier than 75,000 pounds, and JetBlue owns the rights to 32 of those flights.

The basic idea is this: If JetBlue someday gains the ability to fly to Central and South America from Long Beach, it would still want to fly to many of the markets it serves today – like Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco and Salt Lake City. In the right scenario, passengers originating from many of those cities would switch planes in Long Beach and connect to an international flight.

But it’s very hard – perhaps impossible – to run a vibrant domestic and international operation with 32 flights a day. So JetBlue may ask city officials, who tend to be sensitive about new flights due to noise issues, for the right to operate more flights. The airline has made some past overtures, but apparently has never made a formal request – at least one that has been made public. 

Here’s what could happen. By city rules, Long Beach allows an additional flights 25 daily flights on commuter jets – defined as planes weighing less than 75,000 pounds, such as the CRJ-700 and CRJ-200. JetBlue doesn’t have any planes that light, but it does fly the Embraer ERJ-190, with a maximum takeoff weight of 105,359 pounds, according to the manufacturer.  JetBlue would like its E-190s to count in the small jet category, so it can add flights from LGB. (Other airlines are operating far fewer than 25 small jet flights from the airport, so there is available space in the category.)

“The E-190s are a very friendly airplanes,” said Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s vice president for network planning. “They’re quiet. It is very much fits what was intended with those commuter slots.”

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Lufthansa’s Instagram account gets you behind the scenes

Perhaps better than any other airline, Lufthansa understands the power of social media. And the airline’s instagram account is about as good as it gets – at least for people who like to know what happens behind the scenes at a major worldwide carrier.

I’ve compiled some of the airline’s recent shots, many of which were taken by a pilot on the Frankfurt to LAX route. Sometimes, the photographers go a bit heavy with the filter. But it’s cool stuff, nonetheless.

Here we go:

  • Beautiful inside and out: One of Boeing 747-8′s new raked wings. We’ll explore more #FRAspots tomorrow. Stay tuned :) #youthhotspotsgermany
  • Ever wondered who’s the man behind the airport announcements? Meet Heino! His Chinese sounds great :) #FRAspots #youthhotspotsgermany
  • One might think that’s a subway map – but it’s only a little section of the baggage control center’s display. #FRAspots #youthhotspotsgermany
  • My lunch enroute over #Greenland #pilotdiary
  • 35,000 feet over the North Atlantic #pilotdiary

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