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7 Special Airplanes Flying World Cup Teams to Brazil

Where: Brazil
June 5, 2014 at 11:02 AM | by | ()

World Cup 2014 begins in little more than a week, on June 14. Right about now the national soccer teams are either packing up to hit the skies before hitting the turf, or they're already touching down in Brazil for pre-game practice.

Seeing as how the World Cup games are played in 12 different cities throughout the month, teams not only need transportation to Brazil, but within the massive country. For this, each team relies on a private or chartered aircraft, and many take the opportunity to show off a bit of their national pride.

Here are 7 such special aircraft you'll spot in the skies over Brazil this next several weeks:

Lufthansa's "Fanhansa" 747-8i

When World Cup rolls around every four years, Lufthansa gets very into it. From special menu items to whole new airplane paintjobs, the German airline definitely shares the spirit with passengers. For 2014, they've repainted some A321s, A330s, A340s, and brand-new 747-8is as "Fanhansa," as well as introduced soccer-themed goodies onboard. Naturally the German national team will travel on Lufthansa's shiniest plane, a Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental newly delivered into the fleet; rumor has it this will be D-ABYO.

GOL's Graffiti 737

Even though Brazil's team doesn't have to travel very far to the World Cup, they must still fly to games around their own country. For this, they're using a Boeing 737 from GOL, a Brazilian low-cost carrier, decorated by Brazilian street art duo Os Gemeos. The design is in signature Os Gemeos style, themed around the concepts of "Brazilianness, democracy and diversity," but the colors have caused the livery to be compared to the skin of a overly ripe banana. Following the World Cup, the plane will re-enter GOL's regular fleet and keep the colors for two years.

Japan Airlines' 787 Dreamliner

The Japan national team is already making news alongside their plane (JA835J), as they arrived to Tampa International Airport last week and managed to botch the water cannon salute, as the wing struck the firetruck boom. The incident wasn't enough to ground the plane, which is lucky since the team had to continue on to Costa Rica for a friendly match prior to the serious stuff in Brazil.

France's photoshopped Boeing

We don't even know what to say here, other than the French team needs a better Photoshopper and to call some friends at Air France, stat.

England's private 767

This minimalist aircraft is ZS-DJI, Aeronexus Corporation's Boeing 767-216(ER). Historically it's been British Airways flying the team to World Cups, although they flew with Virgin Atlantic in 2010 to South Africa. This year, both airlines have declined and the national team will make it to South America on their own steam, in this 767 leased from Aeronexus. The aircraft has also been used a charter for The Rolling Stones during their most recent world tour.

Brussels Airlines' A330

This A330 (OO-SFO) is ready to fly this week, as Belgium's "Red Devils" head straight to Brazil for their World Cup games. To read more about this aircraft, and view 14 photos, check out our special feature.

Aerolineas Argentinas' 737

Like Brazil, Argentina's team doesn't have to travel across oceans and many time zones to play their World Cup games. For transportation, they've chosen an Aerolineas Argentinas Boeing 737 (LV-BCC) complete with a special livery sporting some faces from the team and the words, "Vamos Argentina." The team flies to their base in Belo Horizonte from Buenos Aires on June 9.

However you're flying to Brazil for World Cup, do check out CN Traveler's guide to staying safe.

Have a great trip!

[Photos: Brussels Airlines Facebook, Lufthansa Facebook, avgeekJoe, Liam McManus, Twitter/@2014WC_Brazil, Aerolineas Argentinas Facebook]

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