Airlines

Published on May 1st, 2015 | by Mark Dwyer

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Aer Lingus & IRFU join forces with new aircraft livery

Yesterday Aer Lingus was announced as ‘the official airline of the Irish rugby team’. The new partnership will see the national airline link up with the Irish rugby team, which has risen to third in the World Rugby rankings after back-to-back RBS 6 Nations Championship wins under the helm of Joe Schmidt and his coaching team. 

Readers will recall that EI-DEO was assigned to the Virgin Atlantic Little Red lease. It operated the final Virgin Atlantic Little Red London Heathrow – Manchester service, the VS3045 on the evening of 28th March. The aircraft then positioned Manchester – Dublin as VS879 arriving at 22:33. EI-DEO returned to Aer Lingus service on the morning of 1st April operating EI361 Dublin – Warsaw and was the first instance of a Little Red liveried aircraft operating an Aer Lingus service.  The aircraft positioned Dublin – Shannon for maintenance on on the afternoon of 29th April as the EI990.

This aircraft will be unveiled in early May with a further aircraft being branded in similar livery as Joe Schmidt’s men embark on their outward journey to the Rugby World Cup in September. In addition, a player from each of the four provinces, who will be named Aer Lingus Brand Ambassadors, will take part in a safety demonstration video which will be shown on board Aer Lingus transatlantic flights.

Commenting on the partnership, Mike Rutter, Chief Revenue Officer at Aer Lingus, commented “We are very proud to partner with the IRFU, bringing together two strong iconic Irish brands with long and rich heritages. There are many synergies between us – we are both international success stories which instil pride in Irish people. We have lots of exciting plans including the rebranding of aircraft in IRFU livery displaying our four ambassadors – this is a first for Aer Lingus and indeed for Irish aviation.”

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt and players Rob Kearney, Devin Toner and Jack McGrath are pictured with Mike Rutter, Chief Revenue Officer at Aer Lingus

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt and players Rob Kearney, Devin Toner and Jack McGrath are pictured with Mike Rutter, Chief Revenue Officer at Aer Lingus

“This sponsorship is part of a wider re-energisation of the Aer Lingus brand that has seen recent changes to brand positioning (‘Smart Flies Aer Lingus’), commercial platform (‘Black & White choices’), the lead Creative agency (KesselsKramer) and substantive investment in the Aer Lingus Guest Experience (New Business Class Service/New JFK Lounge/New Dublin Arrivals Lounge).”

He added, “On behalf of all the staff at Aer Lingus, I would like to wish the Irish rugby team every success in the upcoming World Cup and beyond.”

Padraig Power, IRFU Commercial & Marketing Director, said: “The IRFU are delighted to welcome Aer Lingus to the Irish rugby family. The partnership will help facilitate the travelling arrangements of all Irish teams to help maximise success at every level as well as delivering a new and exciting platform to further promote the Irish rugby brand. We look forward to a great future with Aer Lingus.”

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About the Author

Mark Dwyer

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.



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