An Olympic Effort from British Airways

Have you gotten Olympic fever yet? British Airways, a 2012 Olympic sponsor, is getting festive with a handful of creative initiatives themed around the London Olympics. They’re also currently offering 100,000 bonus miles on their British Airways Visa card, for new signees. Looks like there’s something for everyone, whether you live in London or just want to travel there.

The most ambitious of the Olympic-themed initiatives would be nine A319 aircraft designed by Pascal Anson and stenciled to resemble a shimmering, golden dove, an undertaking which required 950 man-hours and 500 litres of paint. If you think that’s a lot, the A319 is one of the smaller planes in the fleet. A 747 would require 2000 litres of paint and countless more man-hours.¬† These planes will be used for long-haul flights originating from Heathrow, so there’s a chance you may see one on the Eastern Seaboard. Or, fly to London and you may see it on the tarmac at Heathrow.

On the culinary front, British Airways is also creating a special menu inspired by that of the 1948 Olympics. 60 odd years ago, British Airways served multi-course meals whose in-flight fare consisted of dishes such as consommé royal, ox tongue, and peaches and cream. This year, Michelin-starred chef Simon Hulstone created an inspired menu including a pickled cucumber carpaccio with sourdough croutons, potted braised beef, and lemon curd cheesecake. aeroplane food fit for Olympians, indeed. The special menu will be available starting in July for First, Club, and World Traveller passengers.

The final of the three Olympic themed projects is an independent film by Prasanna Puwanarajah, to be screened on British Airways flights during the Olympics. The film, inspired by the Olympic games, tells the story of a father honouring his fallen son, a cyclist who died in a car accident. All three initiatives come together in a British Airways temporary ‘pop-up shop’, Flight BA2012, allowing London-locked patrons to experience all three of these Olympic themed productions in a special gallery/cinema/restaurant space. Everyone else will have to buy a plane ticket. If you don’t make it during Olympic season, you’ll miss the film and the special menu, but the dove-designed planes will be airborne for an entire year.

Already known for its amenities and service, British Airways deserves further praise for promoting their sponsorship of the Olympic Games in such a creative way. What’s more, all the talent for these projects was chosen through the British Airways Great Britons program and provided with mentorship, so they’re strengthening the British creative community while at the same time providing unique experiences that are sure to delight their customers. British Airways passengers should be happy to be a part of such an innovative and philanthropic undertaking.

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