SAA’s Spectacular Olympics Plane gets First Paint Strokes
Winning Design by Stellenbosch University Student
South African Airways today symbolically fired the starter?s gun for its partnership with South Africa?s national Olympics and Paralympics Teams as work got underway on a spectacular special paint design for the aircraft which will fly athletes and officials to London.
The long haul Airbus A340-300 is set to cause a splash at airports internationally with its bold images of South African swimmers, runners, soccer players, and other sports stars. The design for the aircraft emerged from a public competition run by SAA which close to 400 entries and was won by Stellenbosch University student Adrie Le Roux.
Together with SAA Chairperson Cheryl Carolus and CEO Siza Mzimela, Le Roux today participated in a ceremony at SAA Technical?s Hangar 07 at OR Tambo International airport in Ekurhuleni during which the first paint was applied to the aircraft, registration ZS-XRD. The completed plane is due to roll out of the paint shop in mid-July and will carry participants to the London Olympics on July 19th.
SAA is the official partner providing air transport to the London games for the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). SAA will fly athletes and officials to London for the Olympics, which take place from July 27th to August 12th, and participants to the Paralympics, scheduled for August 29th to September 9th.
?As South Africa?s national airline, we are proud and happy to be able to support our athletes in this manner,? said SAA chairperson Cheryl Carolus. ?And just as our ground crews, pilots, and cabin staff are geared to give their very best to the Olympic participants and to all of our passengers at all times, we look forward to South Africa?s athletes achieving personal peak performances in London.?
SAA?s competition for the design of the Olympic aircraft inspired South Africans from many walks of life to actively support Team South Africa with ideas, colours, and creativity for its official air transport. Over three hundred entries were received from across the country by post and online.
?We are very pleased to have been able to mobilise so many people behind the call by SASCOC and the International Marketing Council for South Africa to support our Olympics and Paralympics teams,? said SAA CEO Siza Mzimela. ?Our athletes have put enormous effort into preparing for the games, and we are grateful that we are able to ensure that they are further inspired by the support of all of us as it is made visible in this beautiful special aircraft.?
Adjudication of the competition to design the Olympic aircraft?s special livery was conducted by a panel of technical, arts, and design professionals. On the panel were the National Herald Themba Mabaso, SAA Technical Senior Engineering Analyst JJ Pretorius, Vega School of Arts lecturer Matthew Partridge, and Steve Knapp, Art Director at Brand Activation. The results were audited by Ernst and Young, SAA?s auditing firm.
Besides participating in today?s ceremony, winner Le Roux will enjoy a trip to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games courtesy of SAA.