Mar 21, 2008

AirAsia Unveils World's 1st AT&T Williams Formula One A320 Aircraft

AirAsia Unveils World's 1st AT&T Williams Formula One A320 Aircraft
AirAsia Unveils World's 1st AT&T Williams Formula One A320 Aircraft.

Sepang, 20th March 2008 - AirAsia, the leading and largest low cost carrier in Asia, today unveiled the world’s first commercial A320 aircraft with a Formula One team livery. The unveiling of the aircraft, whose livery is an exact look-alike of the AT&T Williams racing car, was held to coincide with the Malaysian Grand Prix which starts on 21 March 2008 and to mark AirAsia’s extended three year partnership with the AT&T Williams Formula One team.

AirAsia’s AT&T Williams aircraft is a fitting tribute to Williams’ traditional racing colours of blue and white, whilst the ‘nose’ of the aircraft is designed to look like Nico Rosberg’s racing helmet. The aircraft AFW30 was named ‘Sir Frank Williams’ in tribute to Sir Frank Williams, Team Principal of AT&T Williams.

Fans of the famed drivers came all the way around the region to seize the golden opportunity from the greet and meet session with the drivers. They were joined by Dato’ Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia Berhad, Adam Parr, Williams F1 Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Board of Directors and also the local and regional media.

The session also saw both drivers touring the aircraft as well as setting the fastest lap time on AirAsia’s AT&T Williams Formula One simulator which was located at the LCCT concourse area. Fans also had the privilege of getting close to a Formula One car by taking part in a virtual race on AirAsia’s AT&T Williams Formula One simulator. The experience and unique chance to sit in the driving seat of a Formula One car provided them a whole new dimension to the game and it was almost good as the real race itself!

Prior to LCCT, the AirAsia’s AT&T Williams Formula One simulator has been around town to build-up the hype prior to the F1 race. These places include One Utama Shopping Mall, Sunburst Festival, Bangsar Village and subsequently at the Sepang Circuit from 23-24 March 2008. Plans are underway to embark on a regional road show to Jakarta, Thailand as well as other destinations serviced by AirAsia.

Dato’ Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Berhad said “As a true 5-star low fare airline, we are proud to be associated with AT&T Williams Team. We have always believed in investing in great talents and embracing innovation that sets us apart from the other airlines. We are glad that our vision in this investment is reaping rewards as AT&T Williams Team is such an incredible success story. Their performance-driven spirit, independently owned, distinctiveness and passion are the same qualities that we strive for. AirAsia echoes these qualities as we are a reflection of a true Malaysian company that has high hopes to become a truly global player, building a company from scratch to become the leading and largest low cost carrier in Asia,”

“We are extremely pleased to have Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima here with us today. This tie-up is not only a good learning avenue for us but is also a platform to achieve the highest quality and safety standards by sharing experience, embracing the values of teamwork in the pursuit of our goals. This is yet another exciting development for AirAsia as one of our key strategies is to extend our brand globally and communicate with people via sports marketing. The unveiling of AT&T Williams livery sees us moving closer to achieving this goal through our partnership with such an impressive and inspiring team.” concluded Dato’ Tony Fernandes

Nico Rosberg, AT&T Williams Formula One driver said “It has been incredible to see the AT&T Williams livery on AirAsia’s plane. I’m delighted that the design of my helmet, which I have been racing with all my life, has been used to create a lasting tribute to the team’s partnership with Air Asia.”

“I am very impressed at how well the Williams Toyota FW30’s design has translated to the AFW30 Airbus. I think we would all like to thank AirAsia for this great venture and we are proud to be associated with the Airline of the Year 2007. This is indeed a source of inspiration to both of us going into the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend.” added Kazuki Nakajima, AT&T Williams Formula One driver.

AT&T Williams is one of the world’s leading Formula One teams with 16 Formula One World Champions titles to date. The partnership with AirAsia, announced in April 2007, forms part of the airline’s long term branding strategy to build a global brand.

The AirAsia and AT&T Williams Partnership
The AirAsia and AT&T Williams sponsorship is part of our commitment towards building the AirAsia brand globally, with year-round exposure as the Grand Prix races take place in 17 countries that will reach out to a broader customer base. The sponsorship deal with also be highlighted via an integrated marketing programme across the region aimed at further strengthening the AirAsia brand, already successful in the Asia Pacific region.

According to Dato' Tony Fernandes, "Our rationale to sponsor Williams is to associate our AirAsia brand with Formula One as it is the epitome of technology.

One of our brand strategies is also to promote our brand overseas and to reach people via sports marketing and Formula 1 provides an ideal platform for this. We also share the same values as Williams, namely quality, technological precision, world-class performance and efficiency. Williams' sheer determination and spirit are definitely an inspiration for all of us in AirAsia."

The Drivers :-

Nico Rosberg
Nico Rosberg

Kazuki Nakajima
Kazuki Nakajima

Source : Air Asia

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