Earlier today, in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Japan Airlines announced that it would be applying special SAMURAI BLUE decals to one of its Boeing 777-200 aircraft.
SAMURAI BLUE refers to the Japanese national soccer team, and the aircraft (besides featuring SAMURAI BLUE the titles) will also feature an image depicting the Japanese national soccer team at the International Friendlies that were held last November.
SAMURAI BLUE Support Jet No. 1
The livery will be worn by JA8979 which will fly with the decals for the first time in late March – and will wear the modified livery until the end of September 2018.
Given that the aircraft is officially titled “SAMURAI BLUE Support Jet No. 1,” we can expect one more aircraft to receive similar markings. And, while “No.1” will be used on domestic routes – if history is anything to go by – we can expect “No. 2” to fly internationally.
The tradition of Japan Airlines supporting the Japanese national soccer team with a special livery started in 2002 (minor “special titles” were applied in previous years as well).
The first one that I photographed was the livery’s previous version – cheering the team during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Unfortunately, that version didn’t feature images of the players (only small silhouettes) and so it wasn’t the best special livery out there.
With that in mind, I have to say that the upcoming version looks much better! At the very least, compared to its predecessor.