Aer Lingus announced as 'official airline of Irish rugby team'
Joe Schmidt gives you wings!
A new agreement with the IRFU has seen Aer Lingus announced as 'the official airline of the Irish rugby team'.
The three-year sponsorship deal will see the world's No. 3 rugby team flown around Europe by Aer Lingus during the RBS 6 Nations Championship and other international tournaments.
The airline is set to rename one of its aircraft 'Green Spirit' and cover it with IRFU and player branding in a transformation to be unveiled early next month.
Another plane will be decorated in similar fashion as Joe Schmidt and his players - as well as management and support staff - set out in September for autumn's Rugby World Cup.
Mike Rutter, Chief Revenue Officer at Aer Lingus said that the union is "a first for Aer Lingus and indeed for Irish aviation".
The sponsorship is part of a wider "re-energisation" of the Aer Lingus brand that has seen substantive investment in the airlne's Guest Experience (including a new Business Class Service, JFK Lounge and Dublin Arrivals Lounge) among other initiatives.
"Smart flies Aer Lingus and now so does the Irish rugby team!" Rutter said.
Meanwhile, the IRFU's Commercial and Marketing Director Padraig Power said that "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," he added.
"We look forward to a great future with Aer Lingus.”