The Smurfs and Art Nouveau finalists for the 5th Belgian Icon

The Smurfs and Art Nouveau finalists for the 5th Belgian Icon

Thursday, September 14, 2017 — In a search for its 5th Belgian icon, Brussels Airlines turned to its customers to ask them which Belgian idea or person they wish to see soaring through the skies on an Airbus A320. Out of the more than 1400 ideas, a jury has chosen two finalists, which will now be put to a public vote. Everyone can cast their vote until 24 September. The winning design will be turned into a special livery plane to be unveiled next March.

At the beginning of August, Brussels Airlines called on its customers and fans to design the 5th Belgian icon in its series of special planes dedicated to famous Belgians or Belgian culture. The airline received an overwhelming number of ideas and designs. In total 1415 entries were submitted – all of which represent what Belgium truly stands for.

No idea is too crazy in the land of surrealism: designs of dancing chicory and the hair of Belgian Red Devil Fellaini were just some of the more eccentric ideas. The most popular ideas were however related to Belgian comics (the Smurfs, Marsupilami, Lucky Luke, Le Chat,..), music (Toots Thielemans, the Saxophone, Jacques Brel,…) and food (chocolate, fries, waffles,…). Ideas were submitted not only by Belgians, but also by fans from France, Germany, Uganda and even Lebanon and Colombia.

The jury, consisting of Tomorrowland General Manager Dave Sips, Olympic champion Olivia Borlée, CEO of Pairi Daiza Eric Domb, CEO and artistic director of BOZAR Paul Dujardin, producer and musician Netsky and Belgian Star Chef Yves Mattagne had anything but an easy task to select two finalists out of all the entries, but on Monday night they reached a decision, together with Brussels Airlines representatives, including CEO Bernard Gustin. The Smurfs by Marta Mascellani and Art Nouveau/Horta by Ahmet Sefer will now compete for a spot on the Airbus A320! The jury considered, among other criteria, the international character, the uniqueness of the designs and if the icon is a good ambassador for Belgium.

“I’m happy to see that we have two such different ideas competing for first place. It was not an easy choice because there were so many good ideas and designs and Belgium has many icons that deserve to be honored. Both the Smurfs and Art Nouveau are known worldwide and help put Belgium on the map. I am very curious to see what the public will choose!”

-- Bernard Gustin, Brussels Airlines CEO

From today until 24 September everybody can vote for his or her favorite design on brusselsairlines.com/belgianicon. Next to eternal fame, the winner gets to follow the entire design process and the creation of the Belgian Icon behind the scenes. Furthermore, he or she will be on the front row during the big reveal event and will fly on its maiden voyage. The plane will be presented to the public in March 2018.

Brussels Airlines is a proud ambassador of Belgium and really carries ‘belgitude’ in its heart. Tintin, Magritte, the Belgian Red Devils and Tomorrowland each fly proudly on an Airbus A320 as Belgian Icons. Also on board Brussels Airlines does whatever it takes to immerse her passengers in the Belgian culture: from chocolates, beers and menus made by Belgian Star Chefs to cabin crew uniforms designed by Belgian designers.

5th Belgian Icon - choosing the 2 finalists

The Smurfs - by Martha Mascellani
Art Nouveau / Horta by Ahmet Sefer
Jury event
Jury taking notes
Jury evening in the Brussels Airlines maintenance hangar
Jury evening in the Brussels Airlines maintenance hangar