South African Airways (Johannesburg) brought its newly-decorated Airbus A340-313X registered as ZS-SXD (msn 642) to London (Heathrow) for the first time. ZS-SXD is painted in a special 2012 London Olympics color scheme.
The aircraft was officially unveiled on July 18. South African issued the following statement:
“South African Airways on July 18, 2012 revealed the fully branded aircraft that will fly Team South Africa and officials to the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 19, 2012. The spectacular design painted on the aircraft was created by Adri le Roux, a first year design student at Stellenbosch University.
The long-haul Airbus A340-300 is set to cause a splash at international airports with its bold and colorful images of South African swimmers, runners, soccer players and other sports stars.
SAA issued a public competition challenging South African youth of ages 13-21 to design an iconic visual which captures the spirit of South Africa. The judging criteria included creative flair and an eye for design. Furthermore, the simplicity and longevity of the design was considered, with the third and final criteria being how the design compliments SAA’s internationally recognised branding.
The design of the aircraft is colorful and vibrant and uses the colors of the South African flag to create brush strokes covering the plane. The sportsmen and women in the stroke illustrate the speed and excellence with which the SA Olympic team performs on the field.
As an official air transportation partner to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), SAA will fly athletes and officials to London for the Olympics, which takes place from July 27, 2012 to August 12, 2012. SAA will also fly athletes and participants to the Paralympics, scheduled for August 29, 2012 to September 9, 2012.
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 South Africa’s National Herald Mr. Themba Mabaso, SAA Technical Senior Engineering Analyst: Mr. JJ Pretorius, Vega School of Arts lecturer Mr. Matthew Partridge, and Mr. Steve Knapp, Art Director at Brand Activation. The results were audited by Ernst and Young, SAA’s auditing firm.”
Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning.