July 8, 2013 Moscow
Aeroflot, Russia’s leading airline, has today been unveiled as the ‘Official Carrier of Manchester United Football Club’. The announcement was made at an exclusive launch at Old Trafford attended by Vitaly Saveliev, CEO of Aeroflot, Richard Arnold, Group Managing Director of Manchester United, David Moyes, Manchester United Manager, and members of the Manchester United squad.
Manchester United selected JSC «Aeroflot-Russian Airlines» as its ‘Official Carrier’ after being impressed by its attention to flight safety and security, with the multi-year contract coming into effect on July 1st 2013. As ‘Official Carrier’ Aeroflot will provide strategic advice to the club on travel arrangements for the team and officials and will also provide charter services whenever suitable on its newest long-haul Airbus and Boeing airplanes featuring a state-of-the-art business class experience.
Members of the Manchester United squad and Aeroflot’s top management demonstrated their mutual commitment to the partnership at a spectacular launch event at Old Trafford, featuring a replica of an Aeroflot business class lounge and a 20 metre-wide digital image of a Manchester United and Aeroflot branded airplane projected on the front of Old Trafford. Members of the Manchester United team signed the digital plane due to be featured across Aeroflot’s marketing channels including its website and Facebook page.
A physical version of the Manchester United branded plane will be introduced to the Aeroflot fleet and partnership branding will be seeded across Aeroflot’s marketing network. The partnership will also be integrated into Manchester United’s marketing channels, including Old Trafford and club media outlets as well as on the website and Facebook page (which has more than 34 million followers).
Aeroflot has one of the youngest and safest fleets in Europe, with the average aircraft age between five and six years old. It was the first Russian carrier to be included in IATA’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Registry. As a member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance, Aeroflot with its partners provides service to more than1000 destinations in 178 countries and offers the shortest route between Europe and Asia via Moscow.
Vitaly Saveliev, Chief Executive Officer, Aeroflot, commented: «We are a truly global airline offering the shortest route between Europe and Asia. Our partnership with Manchester United is based on this global outlook and shared values including teamwork, a focus on quality, pride in our heritage and an innovative and forward-looking attitude.
«We are long-standing, proud, supporters of Russian sport and it’s a significant step for our first global partnership to be with one of the most successful and well loved football clubs in the world. We look forward to using our shared partnership values in ways which benefit the Club, the team, fans and Aeroflot customers worldwide.»
Manchester United’s Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold, added: "Manchester United and Aeroflot share many of the same values and we are pleased to be welcoming such a like-minded company to our family of sponsors. Like the Club, Aeroflot demonstrates team work, quality and a pride in its heritage, whilst still embracing new technologies and innovations. They have developed to become Russia’s leading airline which is demonstrated by the number of awards they have received.
«Today’s announcement marks the Club’s first commercial venture in Russia, an expanding market we are keen to explore further. The Club has close to 18 million followers in Russia, demonstrating the partnerships potential audience in the country.
«Aeroflot is celebrating its 90th birthday this year, but has already impressed us with its youthful energy as one of the youngest fleets in Europe. We look forward to developing a meaningful partnership with them, and reaching fans in innovative and rewarding ways.»
Celebrating its 90-th anniversary in 2013, Aeroflot is Russia’s flagship airline and the largest national air company. Proudly being a member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance, Aeroflot with its partnering members provides service to more than 1000 destinations in 178 countries. Aeroflot operates one of the most modern and youngest fleets in Europe counting 137 aircraft formed by Airbus, Boeing and Sukhoi airliners with an average airplane age between five and six years old. In 2012 Aeroflot carried 17.7 million passengers (27.5 million passengers as Aeroflot Group), continuously showing the best results in modern Russia’s history. In June 2013 Aeroflot was for the second time awarded by SKYTRAX as The Best Airline in Eastern Europe. Find more at www.aeroflot.com.
About Manchester United
Manchester United is one of the most popular and successful sports teams in the world, playing one of the most popular spectator sports on Earth. Through our 135-year heritage we have won 60 trophies, enabling us to develop the world’s leading sports brand and a global community of 659 million followers. Our large, passionate community provides Manchester United with a worldwide platform to generate significant revenue from multiple sources, including sponsorship, merchandising, product licensing, new media & mobile, broadcasting and match day.