LONDON – It's a bird, it's a plane — it's a plane that looks a bit like a bird.
British Airways has unveiled the first in a flock of Olympic-themed jets that will fly during this summer's London Games.
The Airbus A319, which has been painted to resemble a giant gold dove, goes into service Tuesday, the first of nine similarly decorated Olympic planes.
Artist Tracey Emin mentored designer Pascal Anson, who created the look of the plane. Emin said she loved the design, which "brings back the excitement of travel."
The planes are one of several Olympic-themed projects for British Airways designed to celebrate British creative talent. Chef Heston Blumenthal is helping colleague Simon Hulstone develop in-flight meals inspired by traditional British cookery and the 1948 London Olympics, and actor Richard E. Grant has helped writer Prasanna Puwanarajah script a short film to be shown on flights.
All three projects — though not an actual Airbus — will be on display at an aviation-themed pop-up restaurant, gallery and cinema in London from Wednesday until April 17.