Belgium: An airline has redesigned its logo because superstitious people were worried about it.
Thirteen dots looked just right to the designer Ronane Hoet. Together they had the perfect balance to form a stylisedbfor the new Belgian carrier Brussels Airlines and the number also matched the destinations it flew to in Africa, a key market.It was harmony,she said, wistfully.
This week, however, Brussels Airlines workers were adding a 14th ball to the logo on the tail and sides of an Airbus 319 in response to complaints from superstitious customers in the US and Italy.
Immediately after the November announcement that the successor to the merged SN Brussels and Virgin Express would come into operation on March 25 with the 13-ball logo, the firm was flooded with disapproving emails and calls.
They said they were not pleased with an aircraft with a logo with 13 balls because they think it brings them bad luck,said airline spokesman Geert Sciot.
Not quite sure how a loaded A319 makes it to the US. Still, one of the airlines forming the new one rose out of the ashes of Sabena, which is a much better reason to avoid it. The new design has 14 balls, which is fine as long as the airline does not serve east Asia.
Brussels Airlines could have gone to 12 dots or 14. It chose 14 to avoid connection with the 12 disciples. Luckily, it is not flying to China, where 14 would be a definite no-no; in Mandarin, 14 sounds like the phraseto want to die.
In both Chinese and Japanese speaking areas, the numbers 4 and 7 are unlucky because the words for them sound like the word for
death. The Japanese even use alternative words for the offending numbers where possible, which is why
shichimi togarashi (seven spice) is more usually labelled
Airline redraws logo as superstitious customers curse 13-ball design—The Guardian, 22nd February 2007. Related story: Superstition in strange places.—The Pagan Prattle, 29th January 2004.