China Airlines (Taipei) this month introduced a logo jet dedicated to the ethnic diversity in Taiwan. The airline issued this statement on the special Masalu! Taiwan Airbus A330-300:
The “Visiting Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan” liveried aircraft is the result of a partnership between Taiwan’s Council of Indigenous Peoples, Executive Yuan and China Airlines. The pictured B-18358 made its inaugural flight on March 11 from Taoyuan Airport to Auckland via Sydney. China Airlines flies to Auckland seven times a week, promoting Taiwan’s indigenous culture to the world. Continuing with China Airlines’ Taiwan Culture and Creativity series, the new liveried aircraft is the only one of its kind in the world, displaying details of a traditional wedding of the Paiwan tribe. The drawings come from renowned indigenous artist Sakuliu Pvavaljung’s Wedding Celebration series, shown in the public for the first time. These drawings of joyful celebration welcome people to enjoy the diversity Taiwan has to offer.
The liveried aircraft is an Airbus A330-300, with a capacity of 30 Business Class seats and 277 Economy Class seats. There are illustrations on the cabin interior and designs on the head-rest covers containing indigenous elements, and inserts in the seat pockets introducing the livery on the plane. The aircraft will mainly serve Australia and New Zealand routes, along with Japan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia routes. In July 2013, Taiwan and New Zealand established the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs of Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC), and it is the first agreement of its type to incorporate a chapter on indigenous cooperation. Taiwan’s indigenous people and New Zealand’s Māori both belong to the Austronesian language family, and research has shown that they have similar genetic characteristics. Because of their close links both culturally and genetically, Taiwan and New Zealand agreed to strengthen ties between the two indigenous groups. Therefore, the first flight for “Visiting Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan Liveried Aircraft” was to Auckland, New Zealand, marking historical significance.
The inaugural flight ceremony began with a vibrant Paiwan tribe wedding ceremony, followed by a melodious performance of “Song of the Sea” by Taipei City Indigenous Youth and Children Chorus, together with China Airlines pilots, cabin crew, ground staff and maintenance crew of indigenous descent. The attendees at the unveiling of the liveried airplane included Wu Den-yih, Vice President of Taiwan, Lin,Chiang-I (Mayaw.Dongi), Minister of The Council of Indigenous Peoples, Sun Huang-hsiang, Chairmain of China Airlines, and Lin Peng-liang, President of China Airlines. Each passenger on the inaugural flight received a passport cover, bag, and deck of cards with indigenous print, and a Visiting Taiwan’s Indigenous Tribes notebook.
The illustrations on “Visiting Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan Liveried Aircraft” come from the father of modern indigenous art, Sakuliu Pvavaljung. They are from his series of works titled Wedding Celebration, depicting unique marriage traditions from the Paiwan tribe. The illustrations chosen best capture the essence of these works, and include the sending of dowry from the groom on the right side of the fuselage, and the carrying of the bride and the swing ceremony on the left side of the fuselage. The logo “MASALU! TAIWAN” on the body of the plane uses the Paiwan greeting “Masalu” to welcome people to Taiwan.
The indigenous people of Taiwan are few and precious, numbering approximately 530,000 and constituting two percent of the population. The government of Taiwan officially recognizes 14 peoples, and each has preserved their own culture, language and customs. The Council of Indigenous Peoples has partnered with China Airlines on a liveried aircraft in order to promote the rich culture of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples, and to draw people from all over the world for a taste of Taiwanese aesthetics. The inaugural flight not only echoes New Zealand and Taiwan bringing tourism ties closer through the ANZTEC agreement, but also expands on economic development in Taiwan’s tribes.
As a leading player in Taiwan’s aviation industry, China Airlines promotes Taiwan’s strength as a cultural hub, and in recent years has released 3 launched aircraft from its Taiwan Culture and Creativity series. The first liveried airplane, “Love & Hug,” features works from artist Jimmy Liao, in which little children are locked in loving embrace with protected animals and planet earth. The second liveried airplane, “Taiwan Tourism,” a collaboration with Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, shows LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), ecology, romance, cuisine, shopping, culture and other features of Taiwan tourism offerings with a creative cultural flair. The third liveried airplane, “Visiting Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan,” displays the customs of Taiwan’s indigenous people, showcases Taiwan’s cultural creativity.
Copyright Photo: Manuel Negrerie/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-302 B-18358 (msn 1346) departs today (March 28) from the Taipei (Taoyuan) base.