SAA’s Reveals Spectacular Design on “Olympics” Plane

SAA’s stylishly designed aircraft is set to fly for the first time with Team South Africa as they fly to London tomorrow

2012-07-21 — / — Johannesburg. South African Airways (SAA) today revealed the fully branded aircraft that will fly Team South Africa and officials to the London 2012 Olympic Games on 19 July 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 colourful images of South African swimmers, runners, soccer players and other sports stars.

“As South Africa’s national airline, we are proud and happy to be able to support our athletes in this manner,” said SAA CEO Siza Mzimela “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 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 colourful and vibrant and uses the colours 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.

“This design is vibrant and reflects the true spirit of South Africa. We believe that it echoes the passion, commitment and hard work that Team South Africa embraces when they are in the field”, says SAA CEO, Siza Mzimela.

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 27 July 2012 to 12 August 2012. SAA will also fly athletes and participants to the Paralympics, scheduled for 29 August 2012 to 9 September 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.


For more information contact:
Dileseng Koetle
Head Communications
Tel: +27 11 978 2298
Mobile: +27 83 400 0041


Kabelo Ledwaba
Communications Manager (External)
Mobile: +27 (0)83 414 4720
Tel: +27 (0)11 978 2760

About SAA
South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 26 destinations across the continent, as well as major destinations within South Africa and internationally from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its four wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA and South African Travel Centre (SATC). SAA CEO Siza Mzimela is the first woman to be appointed to the IATA Board of Directors in its 67 year history. SAA is the winner of the ‘Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for ten consecutive years and the winner of ‘Service Excellence Africa’ for three consecutive years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on time airlines.