At the end of 2019, the Belgian airline Air Belgium has opened a weekly flights program to the French Antilles. The long-haul airline now connects Charleroi-Brussels South airport, to Fort-de-France (FDF) and Point-à-Pitre (PTP). BCO Aviation has provided the airline with an innovative aircraft livery. The following Case study summarizes the story of OO-ABB, an aircraft that became a communication tool.
From Air Belgium to “Martinique Guadeloupe” passing by “Safrans du Monde”
In 2018, BCO Aviation has branded two of the A340-300 aircraft of Air Belgium’s fleet. After several months, an operation reversal has obliged the Belgian airlines to suspend a route to Hong-Kong. The airlines had to reinvent itself and came out with successful ACMI programs for companies like British Airways or LOT Polish Airlines.
In October 2019, the airline was appointed to charter the annual project “Tour du Monde” by the French travel agency Safrans du Monde. Following their customer’s need, Air Belgium appointed BCO Aviation to brand the airbus “OO-ABB” with an innovative hybrid livery.
Thanks to a quick production of the micro-perforated film, BCO Aviation was able to deliver and install the “Safrans du Monde” livery. We talk here about a “hybrid livery” (picture below) because the aircraft was promoting two names at the same time: Air Belgium (the operator) on the tail and Safrans du Monde (the Broker’s customer) on the fuselage. In order to realise such livery, it was necessary to remove the “black-yellow-red waves” livery and install the “Safrans du Monde” livery on the painted “Air Belgium” in order to cover the airline name.
After two weeks in the air and a world tour (the aircraft visited cities like Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Lima (Peru), Papeete (French Polynesia), Cairns (Australia), Hanoi (Vietnam) or Aqaba (Jordan)), it was time to rebrand the aircraft. As a result, at the end of the contract between Air Belgium and the Broker, the Belgian airline had to prepare itself for its new operations to the French Antilles, with help from BCO Aviation.
The six steps to a new and unique extrenal livery
Here is an overview of how BCO Team managed the project:
- Step 1: Air Belgium came out with several ideas and selected an asymmetric livery in order to promote the two islands the aircraft OO-ABB is going to visit on a weekly basis.;
- Step 2: BCO Design team converted the design into adhesive film coupon thanks to state-to-the art machines;
- Step 3: BCO Quality check team controlled the production and allowed the Production team to prepare the micro-perforated vinlys (3M A7322 with coloured letters) for the installation day;
- Step 4: Day 1 in Facility: The A340-300 OO-ABB was only branded with an “Air Belgium” livery on the front fuselage and on the tail of the aircraft. BCO team removed the remaining glue and cleaned the white fuselage with acetone. Then, BCO Aviation fitter team started the installation of the “MARTINIQUE” (capital letter in cut decals) livery on the left-hand side.
- Step 5: Day 2 in Facility: BCO Aviation fitter team installed the “GUADELOUPE” livery on the right-hand side. After the installation, edge sealer was applied on the decals edges.
- Step 6: BCO Aviation Quality Department was appointed to verify that external decals were applied in accordance with the PART 21J Service Bulletin issued by a approved Design Organisation.
Moreover, Air Belgium also asked BCO Aviation to help them regarding their cabin decoration. BCO Aviation manufactured customizable pillow covers and a unique set of headrest covers, i.e. 25 different lay-outs in order to provide a colourful experience to the passengers (picture below).