As rugby fans count down to Rugby World Cup France 2023, Emirates has taken to the skies with its passion for the game emblazoned on one of its flagship A380 aircraft, A6-EOE. The freshly painted aircraft departed Dubai for Istanbul as EK123 at 10.45am local time today.
Over the years Emirates has rolled out a series of eye-catching limited edition livery designs to the delight of sports fans and plane spotters around the world. This latest Rugby World Cup 2023 decal, designed in-house, was inspired by the fast-running lines of the backs, evident in the delicate lines that run seamlessly through the new livery.
Returning for the 4th time consecutive Rugby World Cup as Worldwide Partner, Emirates has long been at the heart of local and international rugby, cheering on teams and enriching the experience of rugby fans across the globe.
The airline has been a tournament sponsor of Rugby World Cup since 2007, and in 2011, became a Worldwide Partner when the host nation, New Zealand, won the tournament. That year, Emirates unveiled its first ever Rugby World Cup livery on an A380, A6-EDN, which operated over 40 flights to cities including France (finalist in 2011), Australia (semi-finalist), as well as other rugby nations like the US and Hong Kong.
In 2015, Emirates once again celebrated its love for rugby with its A380 A6-EDA dressed in the Rugby World Cup livery as it ferried passengers across the world, including to England, the host nation, and 21 other destinations, including Brisbane, New York JFK, Manchester, and Sydney.
Emirates continued the tradition in 2019, designing a new livery for Rugby World Cup hosted by Japan. Its A380 A6-EEU visited Tokyo Narita nine times and Kansai International Airport four times, in addition to cities across the US, Europe, and Asia, and New Zealand, even though the Webb Ellis Cup finally went to South Africa in the clash with England. The decal was also seen in LA, New York, Melbourne, and Bombay.
Emirates is proud to be associated with Rugby World Cup, and its efforts to specially deck out a flagship A380 aircraft to generate awareness and excitement for the tournament reflect its passion and steadfast support for the sport.
As the Official Airline of Rugby World Cup France 2023 and Australia 2027, Emirates will fly rugby to new frontiers and bring its leading expertise in customer experience to help deliver a truly world-class tournament for fans travelling to the host nations. Its investment in the sport as a Worldwide Partner will help support rugby’s development in both emerging and established markets, while fans will be able to watch every moment from two unforgettable Rugby World Cups live and on-demand from their flight seats, making the sport more accessible.
About Emirates and rugby
Emirates is one of the world’s biggest supporters of the sport of rugby.
In the airline’s home base of Dubai, The Sevens tournament has been running for more than 50 years in Dubai and Emirates was instrumental in growing its international status when it first began its support in 1987 in cooperation with World Rugby. Through clear focus and a strong commitment from the airline, the Emirates Dubai 7s has become the largest sports event in the region, with over 100,000 fans joining over the three-day tournament in 2022. It is also an official sponsor of the Cape Town Rugby 7s, which is one of the most popular live sporting events in South Africa’s event calendar.
The airline also sponsors the jerseys of World Rugby’s Match Officials who take to the field in their Emirates ‘Fly Better’ kits. Emirates’ strong rugby partnerships also extend to the South African Emirates Lions and their home venue, Emirates Airline Park, as well as the Dubai Hurricanes Rugby Football Club.