Brussels Airlines has unveiled an Airbus A320 newly repainted in a special livery dedicated to the Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte.
Named ‘Magritte’, the A320 is the second in a series of theme-liveried aircraft Brussels Airlines is planning to commemorate Belgian cultural icons.
The first was ‘Rackham’, a Tintin-themed A320 that the Belgian airline unveiled last year.
‘Magritte’ was unveiled at Brussels Airport on March 21 in the presence of Belgium’s Minister of Mobility Jacqueline Galant; Brussels Airlines Chairman Viscount Etienne Davignon; Brussels Airlines CEO Bernard Gustin; President of the Fondation Magritte Charly Herscovici; and guests and employees of the airline.
The Magritte theme-liveried A320 is the result of close cooperation between Brussels Airlines and the Foundation Magritte, the organization that safeguards René Magritte’s oeuvre.
On the aircraft’s fuselage, the design incorporates two of Magritte’s paintings, La Clairvoyance (1936) and Le Retour (1940).
The A320’s cabin interior has also undergone a surrealist makeover.
It features a flock of cloud-filled birds, taken from Le Retour (1940) and also the work La Belle-Société (1965-66), which features the famous man in the bowler hat.
The design of the Magritte A320 was created by three young Belgian designers, working in the Brussels Airlines marketing team. The painting of the aircraft was supervised by airbrush artist Andre Eisele, who also worked on Rackham.
Painting the A320 in the Magritte-themed livery took place in the painting facilities of Eirtech, located in Ostrava in the Czech Republic.
“As a Belgian company, we want to show our passengers from all over the world what makes our country unique,” said Gustin.
“We have great artists that put our country on the map, such as Magritte,” added Gustin. “The entire world knows the surrealist painter, but not everyone might know that he is Belgian.”
Gustin added: “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.”
“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,” said Eisele, the airbrush artist who supervised the painting of the ‘Rackham’ and ‘Magritte’ liveries.
Eisele added: “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.”
After the unveiling ‘Magritte’ operated a 2 hour 20 minute flight from Brussels to Madrid. For the occasion, famous Belgian chocolatier Neuhaus offered all passengers onboard a box of chocolates from its special Magritte collection.
The special Magritte livery will remain until 2022.