As the world gears up for the start of the 2024 Summer Olympics being held in Paris from July 26 to August 11, 2024, one airline is already well-advanced in its plans for the following games to be held four years from now. Los Angeles will host the Olympic Games from July 14 to July 30, 2028 – a city that also happens to be one of Delta Air Lines’ nine hubs across the United States.

Aside from being the inaugural founding partner of the LA 2028 games, Delta is also the official airline of Team USA for the Paris 2024, Milan Cortina 2026, and Los Angeles 2028 Olympics.

To mark Delta’s involvement in the 2028 Olympics, keen-eyed aviation enthusiasts have photographed what appears to be a new Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-900 sporting a special ‘LA28’ livery. The aircraft is still in the process of completion at the planemaker’s A350 final assembly plant in Toulouse, France, and is due to be delivered to the carrier in the middle of 2024. The aircraft (MSN 673) was photographed on March 23, 2024, still without engines and bearing the test registration F-WZNU. It is due to be delivered to the carrier as N522DZ.

The new color scheme appears to be broadly based on the existing Delta external livery but with some eye-catching variations. Towards the front of the plane and ahead of the wings, the all-white fuselage and Delta titles and ‘widget’ logo are standard to the rest of Delta’s current fleet of 28 A350-900s, albeit with a small LA28 logo appearing in black beneath the window line.

A sweep of color adorns the lower forward fuselage with hues of red, orange, and yellow (replicating a Californian sunset) which proceeds to encompass the aircraft’s midsection. Set ahead of the sweep are several palm trees in black – another symbol synonymous with California.

Aft of the wing, the sweep of color transitions into a deep midnight blue, with a sprinkling of white stars representing both a night sky and reminiscent of the US flag. Across the window line on the mid-aft fuselage are the bold white letters of the ‘LA28’ logo, albeit with the second letter of the host city’s common abbreviation, being replaced by the carrier’s recognizable red widget logo. The tail of the aircraft retains the standard Delta design, with the widget appearing at a 45-degree angle pointing forward.

The appearance of the aircraft in Toulouse is particularly timely, and not only because 2024 is an Olympic year. Most major airlines repaint their aircraft every four to five years while carrying out major maintenance checks. By the time the 2028 Games have come and gone, N522DZ will be due for a repaint, by which time the airline will be considering what it might do for the following games to be held in Brisbane in 2032.

In a statement issued by the carrier, the company said the ‘LA28’ emblem “honors creativity, diversity, self-expression, and inclusion. The ever-changing “A” is a reminder of the infinite stories of individuality and possibilities that comprise the city of LA and the LA28 Games.”

Delta and the Olympics

The LA28 logo marks the evolution of the relationship between Delta and the Olympic movement. The organizations first paired up in 2020 when Delta initiated its eight-year pledge to support the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games as the inaugural founding partner.

Additionally, the airline has remained an important corporate partner of the Olympics for almost three decades beginning when Delta’s hometown of Atlanta hosted the Games in 1996. The airline’s close involvement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) continued thereafter with the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

delta a350 sporting new 2028 la olympics livery spotted in toulouse 0 1et15dyq
KITTIKUN YOKSAP / Shutterstock

It is also noteworthy that N522DZ will not be the first Delta aircraft to display the carrier’s support for both the Olympics and the US Olympic and Paralympic teams.

The airline has operated a specially painted A330-900neo which features a unique ‘Team USA’ livery since 2022. The aircraft, registered as N411DX, has often been used to transport US sportsmen and women to international fixtures and events.

Additionally, a further photograph taken in Toulouse in January 2024 and posted on social media showed another Delta A350 under construction in Toulouse (MSN 661) wearing an updated ‘Team USA’ scheme. No doubt both aircraft will be used as US athletes descend on Paris in July 2024.

delta a350 sporting new 2028 la olympics livery spotted in toulouse 1 Tqn4j8l2

Delta Airbus A350 encounters flight control issue while landing in Los Angeles

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