Brussels Airlines’ ‘Aerosmurf’ to showcase its Belgian colours across Europe
March 27, 2018: After a spell of seven long months, with 1,415 ideas and 14 painting since the Belgian icon contest kicked off, Brussels Airlines’ recently launched its fifth iconic plane that carried out its Belgian colors across Europe and beyond.
The Smurfs design by an Italian student, Marta Mascellani, and selected by the public, will represent Belgium on a Brussels Airlines’ A320, christened as ‘Aerosmurf’.
Aerosmurf was launched with an aim to bring the world to Belgium, and the best of Belgium to the world, which is similar to four other Belgian icons — Rackham (Tintin), Magritte, Trident (Red Devils) and Amare (Tomorrowland).
As an ambassador of Belgium, Brussels Airlines continues its series of Belgian Icons and aircraft with special designs, dedicated to iconic Belgians.
The Smurfs, who are celebrating their 60th birthday this year, are one of Belgium’s most loved comic characters, which will be the perfect flying ambassadors for Belgium.
According to Brussels Airlines, ‘Aerosmurf’ is the title of a Smurfs comic album, which narrates the story of a little Smurf, whose dream is to fly. As the story goes, the little Smurf had tried several ideas, but none of them worked, until he built a plane. Since then, the little Smurf was known as Aerosmurf.
“To design our fifth Belgian icon, we wanted to ask the public who they wished to see flying through the skies as an ambassador for Belgium. That’s why we launched a contest last year, to which everyone with a heart for Belgium, every enthusiast and every designer participated by sending their ideas or plane design. We received an overwhelming response of ideas, from fries to the saxophone, said Tanguy Cartuyvels, VP marketing, Brussels Airlines.
“It is an honour to see the Smurfs representing our country as a Belgian icon, and it’s a fantastic way to celebrate their 60th birthday. My father would be proud to see Aerosmurf taking to the skies, said Veronique Culliford, president and founder, IMPS.
Designers of Studio Peyo SA, adapted Marta’s design to fit the round fuselage of an aircraft with 19 smurfs, with passengers as well as crew, interacting with each other. In the cockpit, one can find Smurfette as the captain, and Papa Smurf as co-pilot. The design contains Belgian details, which represents several other ideas that were submitted during the contest. On the left hand side, Harmony Smurf is seen playing the Belgian national anthem on the saxophone, which is a Belgian invention, along with another smurf, who is playing the harmonica, which refers to the famous Belgian musician, Toots Thielemans. On the crew smurf’s trolley, once can find a miniature Atomium.
On the right side of the plane, a crew smurf is seen serving Belgian fries, and waffles to smurf passengers. Aerosmurf also has two secret passengers, Gargamel and Azrael, which is seen trying to escape through a hatch in the belly of the plane. It’s a treat for plane spotters, as they are only visible during takeoff and landing.
For passengers flying with Aerosmurf, the experience continues inside. Little smurf footsteps on the carpet leads the Aerosmurf guests to their seats, while a Smurfs video, and adapted boarding music completes the Smurfs experience.
Led by airbrush specialist Andre Eisele, 14 artists worked continuously for 14 days to paint the eleven meters high, and 37.56 meters long design on the plane, by hand. They used 28 colors, 420 liters of paint, 24,000 metres of masking tape and 4,500 square metres of masking paper. Aerosmurf will be part of the Brussels Airlines fleet till 2023.
“It is amazing to see how they really made my design come alive. Drawing is a passion of mine and seeing my design on a plane that will fly around Europe is a wonderful way to share that passion with the world,” said Mascellani.
BELGIAN ICON SERIES
As the fifth Belgian icon, Aerosmurf has joined Rackham, Magritte, Trident and Amare in the Belgian Icons series. To carry out the best of Belgium to the world, Brussels Airlines decided to dedicate a plane to Tintin in 2015. With Aerosmurf, the company launched a possible successor for Rackham, as one of the most photographed planes in the world.
Two years later, Magritte followed with Trident, dedicated to the Belgian national soccer team. Brussels Airlines this year, just like two years ago for the European Championship, will bring Red Devils and their fans to the World Cup in Russia. On the June 13, the flight with Red Devils on board will take off to Russia.
In 2017, Brussels Airlines and Tomorrowland created Amare, a tribute to the iconic Belgian music festival. This summer, Brussels Airlines’ party flights will again bring the people of tomorrow from all over the world to Tomorrowland in Boom.