Duffy, Disney’s lovable stuffed bear character, has a huge following in Japan. Just step inside Tokyo Disney Resort, and the bear’s popularity is abundantly clear as you see the large number of guests carrying their own Duffy toy in adorable and sometimes exquisitely hand-made costumes.

Well, we’ve already seen the well-loved bear tuned into an amazing furry bus that made a special tour from Tokyo to Shizuoka Prefecture a little over a year ago, and now it seems the mascot will be embarking on a whole new journey — into the big blue sky!  

That’s right, Duffy will be flying high this summer as Oriental Land, the operator of Tokyo Disney Resort, and Japan Airlines team up in the “Journey with Duffy Your Friend Forever” campaign to commemorate Duffy’s 10th anniversary at Tokyo DisneySea. As part of the program, they will be launching the “JAL Happy Journey Express“, a fleet of four specially painted Boeing 737-800 planes, starting on July 14.

The Happy Journey Express planes will be illustrated with Duffy in his sailor outfit, and the very first outing by one of the planes is scheduled to be flight JL435 from Tokyo to Matsuyama, departing Tokyo’s Haneda Airport at 1 pm.

▼ Ready to take off with Duffy?

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As a bonus, kids flying on the Happy Journey Express will be receiving original Duffy plastic folders, and there will also be special postcards available on the flights as well. The Duffy planes are scheduled to be in service until April next year, so they will be busy flying the skies for a while, but we have a feeling that seats on the flights will be in extremely high demand, from both young and adult Duffy fans alike.

Oriental Land and Japan Airlines will also be offering other promotions as part of the Journey with Duffy campaign, such as a sweepstakes for travelers flying on at least two domestic JAL group flights between July 11 and September 23 with prizes such as model JAL Happy Journey Express planes and tickets to the Tokyo DisneySea Private Evening Party. And for visitors who plan to make the trip to the theme resort from different parts of Japan, the Japan Airlines-affiliated travel company JALPAK is offering special “Visit Tokyo Resort with JAL” tours until October this year that includes airport transport on the “Magical Fantasy Bus” as well as souvenir Disney items and special optional tours at the resort.      

And even if you’re not flying, don’t worry; there will still be ways for you to enjoy Duffy’s special anniversary campaign, with the nearly 50 different types of Duffy-themed goods and food items which will be available and also the special decorations that will be on display at Tokyo DisneySea.

Happy Duffy spotting, everyone!

Source and photos: Japan Airlines press release (Japanese); photos edited by RocketNews24