Mexico’s largest airline has taken delivery of its first Boeing Dreamliner 787-9, said to be the first in the history of aviation to bear a mural on its fuselage.
The aircraft, christened Quetzalcóatl after the Aztec god, touched down at the Mexico City airport where it will undergo preparations in readiness for serving Aeroméxico’s Mexico City-Madrid route.
On arrival it was feted with a “baptism” by airport firefighters: an arc of water over the aircraft as it taxied in to the terminal.
The plane will be Aeroméxico’s flagship and with its unique mural will promote Mexican culture wherever it flies, the airline said.
The fuselage contains 21 pictograms inspired by artisanal products such as intricately carved alebrijes and textiles and clothing with designs from the Totonaca, Maya, Azteca and Olmeca cultures.
It is a combination of traditional designs with modernity, the airline said: the art of earlier Mexican civilizations on the fuselage of one of the world’s most modern planes.
Painting the aircraft took nine days, six more than usual, due to the intricacy of the work. The design itself, which employs 19 different colors, was chosen from 600 entries received in 2014 when Aeroméxico invited artists and designers to submit their proposals.
The winner was Veracruz graphic designer José Manuel Escudero.
The plane is the first of 10 of the 787-9 model ordered by Aeroméxico in 2012.
It will go into service next month on the Madrid route but will later serve other destinations in Europe and Asia with the objective of promoting Mexican culture.