Prior to 2009 the only special scheme that China Southern Airlines had applied to its fleet was a somewhat underwhelming sticker application to one of its Boeing 777s (B-2051) advertising the Toyota Camry. This lasted for two years from 2006-2008.
Guangzhou was chosen by the Olympic Council of Asia in July 2004 to host the 2010 games, which would be the XVI Asiad. The games saw 9,704 athletes from 45 National Olympic Committees compete in 476 events and began on November 12, 2010. They were additionally co-hosted by Guangzhou's neighbouring cities of Dongguan, Foshan and Shanwei across 53 venues and ran until November 27. This area of China is China Southern Airlines' heartland so it was not surprising that the airline would welcome the games and advertise them.
China Southern added 800-900 extra flights for the games and no doubt saw a welcome boost to its operating profits as the games were expected to attract more than 50,000 people. The China Southern scheme applied to Airbus A330-243 B-6057 featured an attractive light blue rear half and the slogan of the games: "Thrilling Games, Harmonious Asia". B-6057 was only the second A330 delivered to CZ, one of four delivered in 2005. A further pair of series 243s arrived in 2007 followed by two series 343Xs. Since then the A330 fleet has expanded to 35 aircraft of which 16 are series 243s.
Also major aspects of the special livery where the mascots of the games - five cartoony goats led by "Le Yangyang". Quoting about the mascots:
"The Mascots embody a part of Guangzhou’s unique history and culture and each Goat has an individual name that is distinctly Cantonese in style: A Xiang, A He, A Ru, A Yi and Le Yangyang. When you put their names together, Xiang He Ru Yi Le Yangyang - meaning Peace, Harmony and Great Happiness, with everything going as you wish - they fully express the people of Guangzhou’s hope that the 16th Asian Games bring peace, prosperity, success and happiness to the people of Asia and fulfill their, and our, Vision of a “Thrilling Games and Harmonious Asia”.
The selection of goats as mascots seems bizarre at first but relates to a Guangzhou legend, which today makes the five goats the most recognisable symbol of the city. For further details of the legend see here. Despite the games finishing over 5 years ago now B-6057 continues to wear her special colours, which given their association with its home city are probably very popular. China Southern itself is still conservative when it comes to special schemes though hopefully the 787 specific colours for that aircraft type signal a change of thinking for the airline.
2010 Asian Games. Wikipedia
China Southern: The Flying Colors Project
2010, August. China Southern Airlines to boost capacity for Asian Games. ATW Online
The Official Mascots of the 2010 Asian Games. Cultural China
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: