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Beware ‘Bear Force One’ — A Bruins-themed jet is bringing fans ready to cheer against Canes

Creating JetBlue’s Bear Force One

Bear Force One, JetBlue’s new Boston Bruins-themed Airbus A320 jet, took off from Logan airport on Monday afternoon to bring hockey fans to Raleigh-Durham International Airport for the NHL playoffs.
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Bear Force One, JetBlue’s new Boston Bruins-themed Airbus A320 jet, took off from Logan airport on Monday afternoon to bring hockey fans to Raleigh-Durham International Airport for the NHL playoffs.

It was hard to miss the planeload of Boston Bruins fans touching down at Raleigh-Durham International Airport this afternoon. They were in the JetBlue plane painted with the team’s colors and with its logo on the tail.

JetBlue unveiled “Bear Force One” on Monday morning at Boston Logan International Airport. The Airbus A320 was said to be full of Bruins fans traveling to see Tuesday night’s Game 3 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals when it took off Monday afternoon for RDU. It landed shortly before 3 p.m.

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JetBlue’s “Bear Force One” was introduced at Boston Logan International Airport on Monday morning and took off for its inaugural flight to Raleigh-Durham International Airport that afternoon. JetBlue

JetBlue, which refers to itself as “New York’s Hometown Airline,” also says it’s Boston’s busiest airline in terms of the number of flights, destinations and passengers. It’s also the airline sponsor for the city’s four major sports teams, including the Bruins.

“We couldn’t think of a better time to celebrate our six-year partnership with the Boston Bruins,” Marty St. George, the airline’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement. “As the team continues on in the Eastern Conference Finals, this new livery will make it easier for Bruins fans to show off their black and gold fanfare, and cheer on their team not only during the playoffs but year-round as it flies across JetBlue’s network of 100+ destinations.”

One of those destinations, of course, is RDU, where JetBlue has about 10 departures a day to New York, Fort Lauderdale and Boston. It’s not clear whether the airline will avoid sending Bear Force One to RDU in the future after this current playoff series with the Carolina Hurricanes is over.

Photos on the Boston Bruins Twitter page suggested that each passenger on the maiden flight would receive a Bear Force One T-shirt, to which RDU replied via Twitter that passengers “in need of a wardrobe change” when they land could find some Canes gear near Gates D1 and D5.

JetBlue says this is its first NHL-themed plane. The airline has previously dressed up planes with logos of the Boston Celtics and Red Sox as well as the New York Jets.

Check out photos as the Carolina Hurricanes battle the Boston Bruins in game two of the Stanley Cup playoffs Sunday, May 12, 2019.

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Richard Stradling covers transportation for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and automobiles, plus ferries, bicycles, scooters and just plain walking. Also, #census2020. He’s been a reporter or editor for 32 years, including the last 20 at The N&O. 919-829-4739, rstradling@newsobserver.com.
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