With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games just around the corner Air Canada has unveiled a special livery, to show their support towards the participating members who have spent years training and preparing for the moment of their lifetime.
Applied to a three and a half year old Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, bearing registration C-FVLQ, the themed aircraft will soon begin flying on the airline’s Tokyo Narita route, representing Canada for each and every kilometre it flies. On top of flying regular passengers between the two locations, the aircraft will be apart of the mammoth effort of transporting the participating teams, their families, equipment and everyone else involved in the once every four years event (this time five because of COVID).
In appropriate Canadian style, the livery features both English and French languages; with the slogan “FLY THE FLAG” printed on the left side in bold black and gold text. The right side of the aircraft displays “HAUT LE DRAPEAU”, translating to the same thing. Additionally, “GO CANADA GO” is printed below each of the primary titles on the lower aft sections of the fuselage in gold.
Other Air Canada Liveries
Whilst very exciting, the livery is not the first time Air Canada has shown its pride and support for its national team at the Olympic Games. In 2009, Air Canada applied a special livery to a Boeing 777-300ER, registered as C-FIVS, for the upcoming 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. This was back when the airline wore the love/hate toothpaste colour scheme.
Tom Podolec uploaded a photo of the old Olympic livery on Flickr back in 2009, with the aircraft moments from touchdown.
Another recent addition to Air Canada’s fleet, thats proving popular for plane spotters despite being unrelated to the Tokyo Games, is the Trans Canada Airlines retro Airbus A220, featuring a heavy grey lick of paint with contrasting red, gold, white and maroon highlights. The aircraft, registered C-GNBN, was delivered new to the airline in April. Since then, its been featured many times across plane spotting websites and social media pages, where avid photographers can share their work.
It’s no easy job painting an aircraft in a special livery either. Depending on the colours used, the complexity of the livery and the size of the aircraft, the job can quickly become more expensive and challenging than an airline’s regular livery. For example, the above mentioned Trans Canada Airlines A220 required nine days to paint, used 350 litres of paint and took 95 employees to complete.
Special Livery Significance
For any airline, the application of a special or slightly modified livery can mean quite a bit for those travelling. To the general public, it’s a quick way to gain a little extra attention, both for the airline and an advertiser/feature event if applicable. For aviation enthusiasts though, capturing a rare one-off livery or even flying on the aircraft itself is a moment one can add to their collection for bragging rights down the line!
As we still battle through COVID-19, the added support, and positive messages sent via liveries like the Air Canada Tokyo Olympic example, can mean a significant amount to all kinds of people, regardless of what their interests are.
There is no doubt that more airlines will begin to roll out special liveries and advertising campaigns as we near the prestigious sporting event on the 23rd of July. Fingers crossed a support message can be sent to all the teams around the world, despite the financial pressure airlines are facing.
What’s your favourite one-off livery, and why?