Brussels Airlines’ Magritte aircraft was unveiled today in the presence of Minister of Mobility Jacqueline Galant, Brussels Airlines Chairman Viscount Etienne Davignon and Brussels Airlines CEO Bernard Gustin, President of the Fondation Magritte Charly Herscovici and Brussels Airlines’ guests and employees.
The plane, an Airbus A320 baptized Magritte, is a 37m long flying piece of art that has come to life thanks to a close cooperation between Brussels Airlines and the Foundation Magritte, the organization that safeguards René Magritte’s oeuvre.
On the outside, the design incorporates two of Magritte’s paintings, La Clairvoyance (1936) and Le Retour (1940). The cabin interior has undergone a surrealist makeover as well and features a flock of cloud-filled birds, taken from Le Retour (1940) and als the work La Belle-Société (1965-66), which features the famous man in the bowler hat.
The design of the aircraft was created by three young Belgian designers, working in the Brussels Airlines marketing team. The painting of the aircraft was realized by airbrush artist Andre Eisele, who previously had also worked on Rackham. He had the challenging task to translate the Magritte design onto an aircraft fuselage. The entire paint job took place in the painting facilities of Eirtech in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
“I am very proud to see this aircraft take to the skies today. Magritte had very close ties to the world of aviation and he would be happy to see his work up in the air. I think we have succeeded in our mission: disseminating the work of René Magritte on such a prestigious and emblematic medium like an aircraft.”
-- Charly Herscovici, President of the Fondation Magritte
“As a Belgian company, we want to show our passengers from all over the world what makes our country unique. We have great artists that put our country on the map, such as Magritte. The entire world knows the surrealist painter, but not everyone might know that he is Belgian. Magritte left a giant mark on the entire cultural world. Moreover, he had a strong bond with the sky and the world of aviation. Therefor we dedicated a plane to him, to represent his legacy.”
-- Bernard Gustin, CEO Brussels Airlines
“After the success of our Tintin plane, one of the most photographed aircraft in the world, we are today unveiling another unique aircraft, dedicated to Rene Magritte. The common theme for our special liveries series is Belgian icons: Both Tintin and Magritte stand for something iconic from Belgium. That's why both aircraft proudly wear a tagline starting with ‘We fly you to the home of'."
-- Lars Redeligx, Chief Commercial Officer Brussels Airlines
Today we write history : this is a true flying piece of art. Our Magritte plane pays tribute to two universes that have a lot in common: the sky, birds, clouds, dreams,… This is Brussels Airlines’ way to honor one of the biggest Belgian icons in the world.”
-- Nathalie Erdmanis, VP Marketing Brussels Airlines
“I was thrilled and impressed by the braveness of Brussels Airlines to start a project like this as the first of its kind in Europe. There are not many airlines showing the spirit to venture something like this. We had a great team working on this for an entire week. The teamwork of everyone, no matter how big or small their contribution, has made this work of art a success.
-- Andre Eisele, Airbrush artist
After the unveiling this morning, Magritte’s maiden voyage will take place, a 2 hour and 20 minute flight to Madrid. For the occasion, Neuhaus offers all passengers of the first flight a box of chocolates from its special Magritte collection.
Spotters, aviation enthusiasts and Magritte fans can follow the whereabouts of the plane on brusselsairlines.com and are invited to share their pictures tagged with #SNMagritte. Those who don’t have the chance to fly with Magritte, can still visit the plane virtually here, thanks to a 360° plane tour created by Belgian startup AroundMedia. The special Magritte livery will remain until 2022.