Team GB arrived home from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on British Airways flight ‘BA2016’ at 9.55am this morning (Tuesday August 23), on a gold-nosed aircraft appropriately named ‘victoRIOus’ by the public.
Gold medallists Nicola Adams and Max Whitlock were the first to walk off the aircraft to a warm reception at Heathrow Terminal 5, as Captain Steve Hawkins waved a union flag out of the cockpit window in time-honoured tradition.
victoRIOus’ is carrying a haul of 92 medals on board which weigh a total of 7.2 stone (46kg) , alongside 320 athletes and support staff. The special charter flight also featured the hashtag ‘#greattobeBAck’ on its livery, which the fans and athletes have been using.
Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways, said:
Today is a very special moment in British sporting history and for the airline too. We’re all very proud of Team GB, and it has been a pleasure to serve the athletes once again as the official airline supplier.
Extra water, champagne, snacks and treats were loaded on the 11 hour 15 minute flight from Rio de Janeiro. Passengers were treated to a three-course menu on board, as well as the home comfort of a full English breakfast and English tea before landing.
Highlights from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games were shown on board, alongside sporting documentaries ‘Sporting Greats; Sir Steve Redgrave’ and ‘Back on Board: Greg Louganis’, as well as classic sports film ‘Chariots of Fire’.
Upon landing there was a ‘Facebook Live’ broadcast with athletes from inside the aircraft, which can be viewed again on facebook.com/TeamGB.
‘victoRIOus’ will take flight once again to bring back ParalympicsGB from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, when they arrive home on Tuesday September 20.
To celebrate Team GB’s greatest ever Olympic performance, as BA2016 took off from Rio, the newly opened British Airways i360 on Brighton seafront was illuminated gold to mark the occasion.
British Airways is official airline supplier to Team GB and ParalympicsGB, for the latest news and information please visit ba.com/backingGB