Etihad Airways the Formula 1 Group have signed an agreement extending the airline’s title sponsorship of the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for a further four years.
The deal will see the national airline of the United Arab Emirates sponsor the event through to the 2015 race.
Etihad has been title sponsor for the event since the inaugural race in 2009.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways chief executive, and Bernie Ecclestone, (pictured) Formula 1 Group chief, were on hand to pen the multi-million dollar deal.
Hogan said: “This sponsorship extension goes against the current commercial trend of shorter sponsorship terms and demonstrates our long-term commitment to Formula One.
“We have seen that F1 is a highly effective vehicle, no pun intended, for promoting the values of the Etihad brand and showcasing our home city of Abu Dhabi to a massive global audience.
“The additional four year term also allows us to strengthen our footprint with F1 and leverage our investment in their global platform more strategically.”
As part of the partnership, Etihad will continue to promote the event globally through its various communication channels and marketing programs.
The airline also continues to fly its two F1-branded liveried aircraft to destinations across its network.
One of these specially-painted aircraft will again do a flyover of the Yas Marina Circuit to open the 2011 event.
Ecclestone added: “The Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been an immense success for Etihad, Abu Dhabi and for Formula One, bringing the airline and destination to an estimate worldwide audience of more than 500 million F1 fans.
“The influx of visitors travelling to Abu Dhabi also brings a direct economic benefit, with over 20,000 people pouring into the UAE for the event, representing tens of millions of dollars for the local tourism industry.”
Etihad continues to receive a major trackside advertising package and podium branding for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Etihad Airways was recognised by the World Travel Award as the World’s Leading Airline in 2010 for the second consecutive year.