Reds on board with Russian airline Aeroflot
MANCHESTER United has agreed its first major commercial deal with a Russian company as airline Aeroflot, was unveiled as its official carrier.
The announcement was made at an exclusive launch at Old Trafford attended by Vitaly Saveliev, chief executive of the Moscow-based airline, Richard Arnold, group managing director of Manchester United, team manager David Moyes and several players.
Aeroflot, which does not currently operate any Manchester routes, succeeds Turkish Airlines as the club’s official carrier. Financial terms were not disclosed.
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 aircraft.
The launch event at Old Trafford featured a replica of an Aeroflot business class lounge and a 20 metre-wide digital image of a Manchester United and Aeroflot branded airplane was projected on the front of Old Trafford.
Vitaly Saveliev, chief executive of Aeroflot, said: “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.”
Mr Arnold added: “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.”
A Manchester United-branded aircraft will be introduced into Aeroflot’s fleet in the coming months.