As Lufthansa transports German athletes and fans from around the world to the World Cup in Doha, it has unveiled a special “Diversity Wins” Airbus A330-300 livery to commemorate the historic event and offer a far-from-subtle dig at host country Qatar.
Special Lufthansa A330-300 Fanhansa Livery For World Cup: “Diversity Wins”
The A330-300 features a potpourri of fans and athletes of different shapes, sizes, genders, colors, and ages. There is even a team Germany fan with a masculine build and chiseled jaw who is wearing lipstick and long hair. The message is clear: diversity wins.
In unveiling the new livery, Lufthansa said:
“Lufthansa is a byword for openness, tolerance, diversity and bringing people together. The company enables its customers from all nations and cultures to connect, and welcomes everyone aboard, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, nationality, identity or sexual orientation. And it is taking this same message – that Diversity Wins! – aloft and around the world, through the special “Fanhansa” livery which it has devised together with illustrator Peter Phobia and applied to its Airbus A330 D-AIKQ.”
Peter “Phobia” elicited a chuckle in a livery that ostensibly tackles several phobias. But the livery itself is not a laughing matter, instead representing the soft power of a nation (even via its privatized flag carrier). It’s easy to say that a livery or other similar actions will have about as much luck in influencing public opinion as Qatar World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman will in telling a Dutch reporter that homosexuality is “damage in the mind.”But never underestimate the power of a dominant culture to change hearts and minds.
Yesterday, the aircraft transported a number of athletes and passengers to Muscat, Oman (MCT) on LH632, a service that continued to Dubai (DXB) before returning to Frankfurt (FRA). We will be seeing a lot more of this aircraft in the days ahead.
Ultimately, it will be skills and teamwork that win football matches, but like the Olympic Games, the World Cup is about so much more than a sporting match; it is statecraft on a different level. Lufthansa will hardly be the only carrier to offer a dig at the host nation in the days and weeks ahead.