Following on from an article about the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture on Saturday, we thought that today it would be nice to focus on All Nippon Airways (ANA) and their special “Tohoku Flower Jet” Livery. Unlike yesterday’s earthquake that did little damage and did not produce a tsunami, things were much different in 2011. At 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) on 11 March 2011, a magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake sent a massive 133-foot wave six miles inland.
Now known as the “Great East Japan earthquake,” it, and the Tsunami it created killed over 15,000 people and was responsible for the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. The largest city in the Tōhoku region, and the second-largest city north of Tokyo, Sendai saw its airport flooded, hampering rescuers’ efforts to get to the area. While tsunami warning sirens went off to warn of the rising water, tsunami defenses were inadequate, and the high ground people tried to escape to was not high enough.
Japan rebuilt the Tohoku region
Almost immediately, the Japanese government and its citizens started to rebuild, emphasizing that they needed higher sea walls and a better warning and evacuation plan to be put in place. In total, Japan needed to find billions of dollars to repair and rebuild the battered region. Corporations also helped raise money, and in 2016 ANA inaugurated a new initiative called the ” Tohoku flower jet” to help support the Tohoku Region.
The idea to paint one of All Nippon Airways aircraft in a Tohoku flower livery was the brainchild of a group of ANA employees at Fukushima Airport (FKS) near the nuclear disaster. With just two thoughts in mind, the ANA employees wanted the flower jet to be a reminder to other Japanese citizens of the tragedy and let them know that the people of Tohoku valued and appreciated their support.
The Tohoku flower 737 arrived in May 2016
Delivered in the spring of 2016, the new Boeing 737-800 Tohoku flower jet with the registration JA85AN had its livery painted to showcase flowers that grow in the six prefectures of the Tohoku region. The symbolic meaning of the aircraft paint job is meant to portray the resilience of the Tohoku people and that even during the worst of times, they can remain steadfast and strong.
ANA education of orphans
Along with the specially painted plane, ANA decided to sell its onboard goods with the same artwork and give a portion of the proceeds to charities who help with the education of orphaned children who lost their families during the tsunami.
To commemorate the passing of 10 years since the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, local children and parents were invited on a charter flight aboard the ANA “Flower Jet.” This special aircraft was Introduced in 2016 to support reconstruction efforts. pic.twitter.com/Ismf6COqd6
— All Nippon Airways (@FlyANA_official) March 21, 2021
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan earthquake, ANA is taking local children and their parents on a special flight. ANA has promised to keep the Tohoku flower jet flying to remind people of the tragedy and continue supporting the Tohoku region by spreading its people’s vitality and appreciation to the rest of Japan.
By doing things like this, airlines remind people of what happened and raise money to help the victims. It is something other airlines should look into. It is also great to see that even with all the troubles brought about by COVID-19, the people over at ANA have not forgotten the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
Have you ever been on the Tohoku flower jet? If so, please tell us what you think about it and what ANA is doing in the comments.