Skymark brings Pokémon back to the Japanese skies


On June 21, 2021, the Japanese airline Skymark unveiled the “Pikachu Jet BC”, a Pokémon-themed Boeing 737-800. 

The ceremony, which took place in a hangar of Haneda International Airport (HND) in Tokyo, brought together employees of the companies as well as many Pikachu mascots.

The unique theme of the aircraft is not limited to its livery: its seats are also adorned with visuals of everyone’s favorite electric… mouse? 

“There are ten flying Pikachu attached to colorful balloons painted on the plane, to brighten up your air travel,” explained Hayao Hora, President and CEO of Skymark. “There are also many Pikachu hidden on the plane – try to find them all!” 

Screens of the automatic check-in machines and boarding passes are also decorated with the creature.

The Boeing 737-800 JA73AB will mainly operate the route between Tokyo-Haneda and Naha’s airport (OKA), Okinawa’s main city. It is part of the “Flying Pikachu Project”, which aims to develop tourism in the Okinawa archipelago. 

Pokémon Jets, a Japanese tradition

Throughout the 25 years of existence of the franchise, the Pokémon Company collaborated with several Japanese carriers, allowing them to use the colorful characters for the liveries of their aircraft. 

The first to do so was All Nippon Airways, which unveiled the first so-called “Pokémon Jets”, a Boeing 747-400D (JA8965) and a Boeing 767-300 (JA8569), on July 1, 1998. However, ANA’s last Pokémon-themed aircraft, a Boeing 777-300 registered as JA754A, was repainted in 2016. 

On December 19, 2020, the Japanese regional airline Solaseed Air carried on the tradition as it inaugurated a Boeing 737-800 (JA812X) featuring an Exeggutor (a three-headed coconut tree) on its livery.

Thus, from now on, Skymark’s Pikachu Jet will be one of only two Pokémon planes in the world.

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