First Raiders’ Touchdown of the Season Goes to AirAsia

Partnership with Oakland Raiders brings flight, from Kuala Lumpur to Oakland in Celebration of Raiders’ Season Opener Against the San Diego Chargers on September 14, 2009

For one day only, AirAsia, the world’s best low-cost carrier is bringing its Raider’s branded A340 aircraft to US soil. The aircraft is named ‘Xcellence’, to match the Oakland Raiders’ motto ‘Commitment to Excellence’.

AirAsia and the Oakland Raiders have partnered to expand the Raider’s fan base in Asia and to promote the AirAsia brand in the United States, creating excitement for future entry into the US market.

AirAsia has formed an alliance with iconic NFL team to deliver the significant exposure in the U.S.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, “This is a very proud moment for us. We are excited to associate ourselves with an iconic team like the Oakland Raiders as they reflect our own endeavor for excellence. This partnership would greatly enhance our efforts to boost our brand globally.”

“We are already a well known brand in Asia. We are on our way to becoming a household name in Europe. And now, our relationship with the Raiders allows us to establish our brand in the United States”.

AirAsia already dominates the Southeast Asian market with its unparallel connectivity of routes and frequency of flights. AirAsia X, the world’s only low-cost long-haul carrier, enjoys a synergistic relationship with its short-haul affiliate. Guests arriving from Europe, Middle East, Northern China and Australia on AirAsia X are able to tap into AirAsia’s extensive route choices and reach exotic destinations such as Bali (Indonesia), Phuket (Thailand), Penang (Malaysia) and more via the airline’s hubs in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani commented, “We’re delighted to showcase this groundbreaking livery design in the US. We hope to capture the imagination of millions of NFL fans and introduce them to our proud AirAsia brand. By promoting the Southeast Asian region of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in North America, we hope to help bring more travelers from this part of the world to our region, which will help boost tourism and local economies.”

He also said AirAsia X is now in the process of negotiations with airports in the United States over a possibility of operating flights into America. Azran added, “US destinations are very much in our long term plans, as demonstrated by our recent order for 10 Airbus A350 aircraft. These planes would be delivered beginning 2016. However, we are exploring ways of commencing flights to the US much earlier than 2016.”

AirAsia X is the first Asian airline to sponsor an NFL team, and the operator of the world’s first NFL aircraft livery.
“The Raiders Organization is truly excited about this relationship with AirAsia,” said Oakland Raiders owner, Mark Davis. “Not only is Xcellence the name of the plane, but it is the driving force behind both of our organizations. This relationship is another example of The Raiders commitment to building a global presence and we look forward to building on this relationship for years to come.”
Despite not operating in the U.S. yet, AirAsia has already captured the attention of the U.S. public and won Aviation Week’s prestigious Laureate Award.

Fernandes made history by being the first Asian to be recognized with the Laureate Award for the Commercial Air Transport category in March 2009, alongside other Laureate winners Alan S. Boyd, the first U.S. Transportation secretary, and the U.S. Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk, HH-65 Dolphin, HC-130 Hercules rescue teams.
Xcellence will land and depart from the low-cost Oakland International Airport (OAK), the gateway to San Francisco and all that the Bay Area has to offer. “We are pleased to welcome the first AirAsia flight to the U.S., another noteworthy item in our long history of aviation firsts,” said Port of Oakland Interim Director of Aviation, Deborah Ale Flint. “Additionally, we hope that AirAsia will consider Oakland as its permanent home base in the future.”
Oakland Raiders are the latest of AirAsia’s partnership with popular sports entities. AirAsia is currently a partner of the AT&T Williams Formula One team and was previously the official low cost airline for the Manchester United Football Club, globally recognized as the biggest soccer team in the world.

AirAsia September 14 2009 schedule:
7:00 am Xcellence lands at Oakland International Airport; 1100 Airport Drive, Oakland
10 am – 12 noon AirAsia press conference at Oakland Maintenance Center. City officials, VIPs, Raiders Legends, Raiderettes, Oakland Children’s Hospital cancer patients and executives will attend
5 – 6:30 pm AirAsia Tailgate at Oracle Mezzanine
7 – 11 pm Raiders vs Chargers game
September 15th
2:00 am Xcellence departs

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