Hello Kitty branded airplane makes its arrival in Houston

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The Kitty has landed. For the first time ever, a Hello Kitty branded airplane is now calling Houston home. Eva Airlines launched its direct route from Houston to Taiwan Friday afternoon. It will be the only plan in North America to be branded with the popular Hello Kitty cartoon.

It is welcome news to people like Jessica Ramirez, who admits she's addicted to all things Hello Kitty.

"I have all of these in my kitchen," she said of various Hello Kitty emblazoned cookie jars at the Galleria store.

Ramirez is the local Sanrio store manager, sports three Hello Kitty tattoos, and has worked for the company since she was 16.

"It's cool to have people come in and say oh you love Hello Kitty as much as I do."

The multi-billion dollar business of Hello Kitty is exactly what Eva Airlines has tapped into. The plane to Atlanta is decked out in giant oversized Hello Kitty characters on the outside. Inside, everything from utensils, food to pillows and toilet paper is emblazoned with Kitty.

"I wish I could sit in it. Not to go anywhere but just to sit inside would be awesome," said Angie Perez, a devoted Hello Kitty fan.

The company says the themed flights are so popular they can charge more for the same routes. Although Houston will be the only city in North America you can get on a Hello Kitty plane.

Houston airport officials say the arrival of the Eva flight is testament not only to the power of a popular character, but the strength of Houston's growing economy. The flight will originate three times a week from Houston before going up to four times a week later this year.

As for Ramirez, she hopes one day to make that trip.

"I want to ride on it. I want to go to Taiwan just for it."
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