The final flight of the BB8

A sad day for aviation and ‘Star Wars’ enthusiasts

March 31 marks the final flight of the Boeing 777-381ER, registered as JA789A, before she retires. For both av-geeks and “Star Wars” fans, this particular aircraft owned by All Nippon Airways is one of the more famous planes in the airline’s fleet.

What makes it so special is the BB8 livery she’s painted in, which easily catches one’s eye whether she’s cruising 35,000 ft in the air or parked on the runway of your local airport waiting for passengers to board her for its next flight.

(Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd./All Nippon Airways)

Don’t be too confused though, this (or any) Boeing doesn’t run on repulsorlifts or hyperdrive engines like they do on podracers. The “Star Wars” façade roars in the tune of two General Electric GE90 engines—one of the biggest engines flying today.

Unfortunately, the airline had previously announced in 2020 that they would be retiring around 35 aircrafts. This was one of their efforts to restructure their fleet due to the pandemic’s toll on finances and travel.

(Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd./All Nippon Airways)

(Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd./All Nippon Airways)

The triple-seven jet flies for the last time tomorrow, March 31, after 11 years of serving the Japanese airline. To celebrate her retirement, there are special-farewell-flights that could be booked on that day from Tokyo-Haneda to Okinawa-Naha, and Sapporo Chitose airports. Due to pandemic protocols, however, these offers are not available to foreigners entering Japan for tourism and leisurely purposes as borders remain closed as of writing.

The future of the aircraft’s body and engines are yet to be determined by the airline.

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