Brussels Airlines presents unique Magritte aircraft

Today Brussels Airlines presented its long awaited Magritte aircraft, a flying piece of art, dedicated to the famous Belgian artist René Magritte. Following in the footsteps of Rackham, the Tintin aircraft that the Belgian airline unveiled last year, “Magritte” is the second aircraft in a series of Brussels Airlines planes with a special design, inspired by Belgian icons.

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 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.


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About Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines is the home carrier of Belgium and one of the four network airlines of the Lufthansa Group. It connects the European capital from Brussels Airport with over 90 destinations, 18 of which are in Sub Saharan Africa. The company employs more than 3,400 people and operates 44 aircraft.

Brussels Airlines aims to emit 50% less CO2 by 2030 compared to 2019 and plans to be carbon neutral by 2050. The airline is participating in the Stargate Project led by Brussels Airport and is therefore part of the testing ground for sustainable aviation at its home base. In addition, the airline signed the Circular Economy agreement of the Antwerp Management School in 2021. The airline was the first to transport Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) through the CEPS-pipeline connecting Brussels Airport early 2023. By end 2024, Brussels Airlines will have welcomed five state-of-the-art Airbus A320neo allowing the airline to significantly lower its CO2- and noise-emissions on its medium-haul network.

As an ambassador of its country, Brussels Airlines brings the world to Belgium and the best of Belgium to the world, among others through collaborations with Belgian Star Chefs, Belgian culinary products and the Belgian Icons, specially painted aircraft that honour a Belgian iconic person, team or event to promote Belgian culture worldwide.

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About Star Alliance

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance, based on a customer value proposition of global reach, worldwide recognition and seamless service. Since inception, it has offered the largest and most comprehensive airline network, with a focus on improving customer experience across the Alliance journey.

Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 17,000 daily flights to over 1,200 airports in 190 countries.

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