HARMONDSWORTH, England - British Airways has revealed that millions of passengers flying to London Heathrow will be able to see a giant painting on the flight path featuring British World Champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis alongside the words "Welcome to our turf".
The image has been created by British Airways to welcome home Team GB and ParalympicsGB supporters and remind athletes from overseas that only one country has home advantage. It will be visible to passengers in the run up to the Games, including July 16 - the daywhen most of the competing athletes will arrive into London.
Measuring 53 by 75 meters the image is bigger than 15 tennis courts and 193 London buses within its dimensions, and portrays Olympic hopeful Ennis with the Twitter hashtag #HomeAdvantage to generate buzz and capture excitement.
British Airways estimates that it will fly 50,000 ex-pats back to the UK this summer. The airline has also launched a 'Flying Britain Home' campaign offering a quarter of a million pounds worth of flights to Brits that live abroad to fly back for the Games. A further 50 flights to London are available to Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes to bring home their friends and family for an extra boost during the Games.
A proud Jessica Ennis said: "I'm thrilled to be the first face that people will see arriving into the UK for the London 2012 Games. I hope it brings excitement to homecoming Brits, and reminds international athletes that we're ready and prepared. We have the most dedicated fans in the world, who will get behind us every step of the way to give us a home advantage."
The image is located in Thornbury Playing Fields in Hounslow, about three miles from Heathrow. Over 600 litres of red, white and blue weatherproof paint was used, taking two days for painters to complete the artwork on grass. The image will be displayed for five weeks until July 17