Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Lucy Thackray

Germany sends Qatar a message with Lufthansa ‘diversity plane’ to World Cup


Lufthansa is making a statement by flying the German football team plane to the Qatar World Cup in a “diversity plane”.

“Diversity wins,” proclaims the Airbus A330, nicknamed “Fanhansa”, with a slogan painted across its fuselage.

The aircraft is set to fly the German team, coaches and management to their training base in Oman on Monday (14 November), then travel on to Qatar at a later date.

The airline revealed the design on Sunday, following years of campaigning by LGBTQ+ activists against holding this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Same-sex relations and marriage are both illegal in Qatar, with its Sharia law system meaning it is possible offenders could face the death penalty.

In recent weeks its World Cup Ambassador ambassador Khalid Salman has said gay people “have to accept our rules here” and described homosexuality as “damage in the mind”.

The Lufthansa jet’s exterior features a colourful mural of people with their arms around one another, devised with German illustrator Peter Phobia.

A statement from the airline said: “Lufthansa is a byword for openness, tolerance, diversity and bringing people together.

“The company enables its customers from all nations and cultures to connect, and welcomes everyone aboard, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, nationality, identity or sexual orientation.

Artists putting the finishing touches to the mural (Lufthansa)

“And it is taking this same message – that Diversity Wins! – aloft and around the world.”

“This 2022 World Cup in Qatar is like no other,” declares the airline on its website. “All the more important for us to set an example of limitless diversity.”

Germany isn’t the only team planning to protest LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar in visual ways.

Several teams are planning to show their values with a “OneLove” armband, while Denmark’s team had designed a “human rights for all” shirt for its players, which was rejected by FIFA.

In October, the gay rights organisation Stonewall called upon fans and players to “stand up and call out the criminalisation and persecution” of LGBTQ+ people in Qatar at the event, which begins on Sunday 20 November.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.