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UNI Air debuts first special livery aircraft

UNI Air debuts first special livery aircraft

Regional carrier UNI Airways debutted its first special livery aircraft featuring the Japanese cartoon character Badtz-Maru on the route between Taipei and Penghu Tuesday.

The aircraft, an ATR72-600 turboprop plane, is decorated with Badtz-Maru, a penguin-shaped cartoon character, playing a ukulele, along with other characters created by Sanrio Co. of Japan.

Badtz-Maru can also been seen in the cabin, as it is printed on seat headrests, safety cards, napkins and paper cups, while the carrier opened Badtz-Maru-themed check-in areas at Taipei Songshan Airport and Penghu's Magong Airport Tuesday.

UNI Air Chairman Solomon Lin (林志忠) said the carrier picked the laid-back and playful penguin character and a holiday theme for its first special livery, so that passengers can feel the holiday atmosphere from the moment they check in at the airport.

The aircraft will be used on the Taipei Songshan-Magong route for four round-trip journeys, and UNI Air has been selling tour packages to Penghu, the carrier said.

Penghu Magistrate Chen Guang-fu (陳光復) also attended the launch ceremony in Taipei and welcomed people to visit the county, which offers year-round activities.

While it is the first time UNI Air has used a cartoon character in its aircraft livery, its parent company, EVA Airways, is no stranger to such marketing campaigns.

Following a successful run with two jets painted with another Sanrio character -- Hello Kitty -- from 2005-2008, EVA Air signed a new licensing deal with the Japanese company and has unveiled seven Hello Kitty-themed aircraft since 2011.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Kay Liu)