Brussels Airlines unveils 5th Belgian Icon

On 30 September 2017 at 10:12

No more waiting, no more curiosity of what the 5th Belgian Icon will look like. It’s here, “The Smurfs” widely known as "Les schtroumpfs" in French, Belgian comic figures will adorn Brussels Airlines plane.

The Smurfs by Marta Mascellani will be turned into a special livery plane to be unveiled next March. Precedent four Belgian Icons are Rakcham (Tintin), Magritte, Trident (Red Devils) and Amare (tomorrowland).

“WE HAVE A WINNER! Thank you for all your votes and ideas. Here is our winner: "The Smurfs" by Marta Mascellani. Congratulations! We look forward to showing you our 5th Belgian Icon which will be revealed in spring next year,” reads the statement by Brussels Airlines.

Marta M., an Italian student, commented on the victory saying, “The main subject is "Les schtroumpfs" because in 2018 there will be the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the cartoon. I drew them as members of Brussels Airlines crew as well as passengers. I inserted also two other objects which clearly represent Belgium: the first one is the Atomium (on the top of the trolley) and the other one is the Sax, played by the last passenger on the right. For the background I used the colours of Belgian flag.”

Belgian giant carrier had, in August, launched a competition in which the carrier’s customers submitted 1415 entries about the Belgian idea or person they wish to see soaring through the skies on an Airbus A320.

Two finalists, The Smurfs by Marta Mascellani and Art Nouveau/Horta by Ahmet Sefer were picked a fortnight ago and everyone was allowed to cast their vote until last Sunday.

The Smurfs was first created and introduced as a series of comic characters by the Belgian comics artist Peyo (pen name of Pierre Culliford) in 1958, where they were known as Les Schtroumpfs. There are more than 100 Smurf characters.

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, 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 jury considered, among other criteria, the international character, the uniqueness of the designs and if the icon is a good ambassador for Belgium.

Next to eternal fame, the winner gets to follow the entire design process and the creation of the Belgian Icon behind the scenes. Furthermore, the winner will be on the front row during the big reveal event and will fly on its maiden voyage.

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.

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