British Airways has revealed a giant-sized image of British World Champion heptathlete, Jessica Ennis, on the flight path in to London’s Heathrow Airport, as a welcome to visitors and competitors arriving for the 2012 London Olympic games.
The image, which measures 53 metres by 75 metres, carries the wording, ‘Welcome to our turf,’ which can also be read as a reminder to arriving athletes from other countries that only one team has home advantage.
The image has been created using biodegradable paint and should be visible for the next five weeks, including on July 16, which is the date that British Airways expects most competing athletes to arrive in London. It is located in Thornbury Playing Fields in Hounslow, about three miles from Heathrow, and 600 litres of red, white and blue weatherproof paint was used to create it, taking two days for painters to complete the artwork on grass.
Jessica Ennis welcomed her part in the endeavour, saying, ‘I’m thrilled to be the first face that people will see arriving into the UK for the London 2012 Games. I hope it brings excitement to homecoming Brits, and reminds international athletes that we’re ready and prepared! We have the most dedicated fans in the world, who will get behind us every step of the way to give us a home advantage.’
British Airways estimates that it will fly 50,000 ex-pats back to the UK this summer. The airline has also launched a ‘Flying Britain Home’ campaign offering a quarter of a million pounds worth of flights to Brits that live abroad to fly back for the Games. A further 50 flights were available to Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes to bring home their friends and family for an extra boost during the Games.