Irish airline Aer Lingus has entered into a partnership with the Irish Rugby Football Union.
The agreement establishes Aer Lingus as the official airline of the Irish rugby team and is for three years, running from 2015 to 2018.
Aer Lingus will fly Ireland’s team, management and support staff around Europe as they compete in the Six Nations Championship and other international matches.
Ireland players will be named as Aer Lingus brand ambassadors and take part in safety demonstration videos to be shown on its transatlantic flights.
An Aer Lingus aircraft will be renamed ‘Green Spirit’ to mark the partnership with the reigning Six Nations champion.
Mike Rutter, chief revenue officer at Aer Lingus, said: “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. 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).”