You know you’ve reached idol-level celebrity status when an airline redecorates one of its aircraft cabins to celebrate your birthday. That’s precisely what happened for Chinese celebrity Wang Yibo, whose fans and brand sponsor paid to redecorate a Tianjin Airlines Embraer E190 regional jet.
An E190 cabin redecorated
According to a post by FATIII Aviation on Twitter, Wang Yibo’s adoring fans, in conjunction with his brand sponsor, had covered the cost to have a Tianjin Airlines Embraer E190 cabin redecorated to celebrate his 23rd birthday – which took place on August 5th.
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The photos included in the Twitter post show the E190 cabin’s headrest covers (technically known as antimacassars) featuring the celebrity’s image and the numbers of his birthday “08 05”. Furthermore, overhead locker doors are covered in similar imagery.
To top it all off, special boarding passes were printed, wishing Wang a happy birthday.
How much are you willing to pay for your idol? Chinese star Wang Yibo's fans & a brand sponsor paid 2 have a E190 cabin fully decorated 2 celebrate his 23rd birthday. The plane will fly regular routes for 4 days with this decor on and special boarding passes. #aviation #celebrity pic.twitter.com/nwRCMYBBcs
— FATIII Aviation (@FATIIIAviation) August 6, 2020
Who is Wang Yibo?
And looking at his multiple talents in entertainment, he might just deserve it as he is listed as an actor, dancer, singer, rapper, host, and professional motorcycle racer. Although the 23-year-old is a Chinese national, he is a member of South Korean-Chinese boyband UNIQ.
According to the South China Morning Post, this past May, Wang posted an emotionally charged post on the Chinese site Weibo, sharing his struggles and frustration with overeager fans:
“For a long time, there have been strangers knocking on my hotel room door in the middle of the night, GPS devices installed on vehicles, and wherever I go, people follow incessantly … I don’t get it any more!”
Other airline-celebrity interactions
Airline-celebrity co-promotions don’t happen too often when it comes to internal or external branding of aircraft. Usually, you’ll see celebrities featured in the inflight safety video or some other video promotion.
However, late last month, Wizz Air announced that it would be partnering with a UK reality-TV star to promote a return to flying. UK television celebrity Gemma Collins is partnering with the budget airline to be the friendly face encouraging travelers to take to the skies once again.
About Tianjin Airlines
A member enterprise of HNA Group, Tianjin Airlines began in 2009 and is unsurprisingly headquartered in Tianjin, China. Its main base is located at Tianjin Binhai International Airport.
The Chinese carrier has 95 aircraft, according to Airfleets.net. This includes six Airbus A330s, two A321s, and 33 A320s. It also has a total of 51 Embraer regional jets.
According to CAPA, the airline operates scheduled passenger and cargo services within China, as well as to Hong Kong and Mongolia.
What do you think of this move by Wang Yibo’s fans and his brand sponsor? Over the top? Or a great way to perpetuate his celebrity status? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.