Choose language and region


Forgot password


Welcome to FlySAA

You are logged in as:


Welcome to FlySAA

SAA's Spectacular Olympics Plane gets First Paint Strokes

Winning Design by Stellenbosch University Student

Pictures are available on request

Johannesburg, 08 July 2012 – South African Airways today symbolically fired the starter’s gun for its partnership with South Africa’s national Olympics and Paralympics Teams as work got underway on a spectacular special paint design for the aircraft which will fly athletes and officials to London.

The long haul Airbus A340-300 is set to cause a splash at airports internationally with its bold images of South African swimmers, runners, soccer players, and other sports stars. The design for the aircraft emerged from a public competition run by SAA which close to 400 entries and was won by Stellenbosch University student Adrie Le Roux.

Together with SAA Chairperson Cheryl Carolus and CEO Siza Mzimela, Le Roux today participated in a ceremony at SAA Technical’s Hangar 07 at OR Tambo International airport in Ekurhuleni during which the first paint was applied to the aircraft, registration ZS-XRD. The completed plane is due to roll out of the paint shop in mid-July and will carry participants to the London Olympics on July 19th.

SAA is the official partner providing air transport to the London games for the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). SAA will fly athletes and officials to London for the Olympics, which take place from July 27th to August 12th, and participants to the Paralympics, scheduled for August 29th to September 9th.

“As South Africa’s national airline, we are proud and happy to be able to support our athletes in this manner,” said SAA chairperson Cheryl Carolus. “And just as our ground crews, pilots, and cabin staff are geared to give their very best to the Olympic participants and to all of our passengers at all times, we look forward to South Africa’s athletes achieving personal peak performances in London.”

SAA’s competition for the design of the Olympic aircraft inspired South Africans from many walks of life to actively support Team South Africa with ideas, colours, and creativity for its official air transport. Over three hundred entries were received from across the country by post and online.

“We are very pleased to have been able to mobilise so many people behind the call by SASCOC and the International Marketing Council for South Africa to support our Olympics and Paralympics teams,” said SAA CEO Siza Mzimela. “Our athletes have put enormous effort into preparing for the games, and we are grateful that we are able to ensure that they are further inspired by the support of all of us as it is made visible in this beautiful special aircraft.”

Adjudication of the competition to design the Olympic aircraft’s special livery was conducted by a panel of technical, arts, and design professionals. On the panel were the National Herald Themba Mabaso, SAA Technical Senior Engineering Analyst JJ Pretorius, Vega School of Arts lecturer Matthew Partridge, and Steve Knapp, Art Director at Brand Activation. The results were audited by Ernst and Young, SAA’s auditing firm.

Besides participating in today’s ceremony, winner Le Roux will enjoy a trip to the London Olympic and Paralympic Games courtesy of SAA.

For more information contact:

Dileseng Koetle
Head: Communication
Tel: +27 11 978 2298
Mobile: +27 83 400 0041


Kabelo Ledwaba
Communications Manager (External)
Mobile: (+27) 083 414 4720
Tel: (+ 27) 011-978-2760

About SAA
South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 26 destinations across the continent, as well as major destinations within South Africa and internationally from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its four wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA and South African Travel Centre (SATC). SAA CEO Siza Mzimela is the first woman to be appointed to the IATA Board of Directors in its 67 year history. SAA is the winner of the 'Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for nine consecutive years and the winner of ‘Service Excellence Africa’ for two consecutive years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on time airlines.