Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, performed a spectacular flyover at Yas Marina Circuit on 1 December in celebration of the 11th anniversary of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, of which the airline has been title sponsor since the inaugural event in 2009.
Thousands of spectators watched the flyover which featured one of the airline’s Airbus A380 superjumbos and a Boeing 787 Dreamliner sporting the unique Formula 1 themed livery in striking red and black. Both aircraft flew in formation with the UAE’s celebrated Al Fursan aerobatic team in a low-level fly-past above the capital’s iconic Yas Marina Circuit.
Yasser Al Yousuf, Vice President Commercial Partnerships, Etihad Airways, said: “It is a privilege for all of us at Etihad to support the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the 11th year and to proudly showcase Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates as a leading global sporting destination. We are thrilled that this year’s event coincides with the celebration of the 48th UAE National Day, making it an incredibly special occasion for our nation.
“The fly-past is a highlight of the event and demonstrates Etihad’s continued commitment to the development of this great sporting event and it is an honour for our pilots to fly alongside the UAE’s Al Fursan aerobatic display team.”
The flyover was led by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner flying at 600ft, commanded by Captain Henry Crowley, Captain Abdullah Saleh, Captain Christopher Lunt and Captain Mohamed Al Tamimi. This was closely followed by the Airbus A380 at 800ft. commanded by Captain Adel Al Zubaidi, Captain Richard Dyson and Captain Ali Al Jabri. The accompanying Al Fursan Aerobatic team consisted of seven Aermacchi 339 jets flying at 750ft in a V formation trailing red, green, white and black smoke representing the colours of the UAE’s flag. The team had the challenging task of maintaining flight timings to the second.
Etihad Airways gave visitors the opportunity to enjoy a Boeing flight simulator experience at their stand in the F1 Fanzone. Children did not miss out with entertainment provided at Etihad’s Kids Zone, which also featured a Nature Valley climbing wall. In celebration of Manchester City Football Club’s record-breaking success in the 2018-19 season, visitors also had the chance to see the full line-up of trophies.
The airline also hosted special guests at the prestigious Etihad Paddock Club in collaboration with GQ Middle East and the airline’s Official Timekeeper partner, Breitling. The exclusive venue welcomed international social media personalities and some of the headline music acts performing at the Formula 1 concerts.