is the name of the British Airways aircraft that is flying Team GB and ParalympicsGB home from the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The name, which was one of a short-list of four selected by the athletes and British Airways staff, was chosen by hundreds of fans on Twitter in a recent poll.
To mark the occasion, the VIP charter aircraft bringing the athletes home has been named flight ‘BA2016’, is decorated with a gold-nose and has its name ‘victoRIOus’ emblazoned on the side. For Team GB’s homecoming, it also features ‘#greattobeBAck’ – a hashtag that the fans and athletes are encouraged to use.
Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways, said: “We’re excited to be bringing the athletes home ‘happy and glorious’ following the Games! victoRIOus is a very fitting name, reflecting the great pride we have for our sporting heroes, and is a great play on words too.”
Team GB depart on flight BA2016 from Rio de Janeiro today, Monday August 22, and land into Heathrow Terminal 5 tomorrow on Tuesday August 23 at 9.55am to an invite-only media reception.
Fans can visit facebook.com/TeamGB from 9.55am on Tuesday August 23, for a live broadcast with the athletes once the aircraft touches down.
As of Monday August 22, the public can also follow the aircraft’s movement on flight tracking website ‘Flightradar24’, which has created a bespoke visual of the aircraft when visitors hover over the icon. It will also feature on ba.com/backingGB.
Bill Sweeney, British Olympic Association CEO said: “Though we are still deep in the middle of competing, one thing we know we will have had from start to finish and beyond is the incredible support of the Team GB fans, both in Rio and Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
That support means everything to the athletes and for them to arrive home on board victoRIOus and share their experiences with their family, friends and fans is very special; and we thank British Airways for arranging this special plane home on the 23rd.”
During the 11 hour 15 minute flight, athletes can enjoy over 1,300 hours of films, top TV shows and audio programmes on board. This includes specially selected sports documentaries – ‘Sporting Greats; Sir Steve Redgrave’ and ‘Back on Board: Greg Louganis’, as well as highlights from the Rio 2016 Games and classic sports film ‘Chariots of Fire’.
Athletes will be able to enjoy a three-course menu and breakfast on board their return flight, along with a complimentary bar service. Some of the dishes available include; Gaucho-style beef tenderloin with kale and tomato, Grilled salmon and ginger-infused noodle salad, chicken in a white wine sauce, thai fish curry and chicken with polenta au gratin.
‘victoRIOus’ will take flight again on September 20, when ParalympicsGB return home from the Rio 2016 Games.
British Airways is official airline supplier to Team GB and ParalympicsGB. For the latest news and information please visit ba.com/backingGB