Expect to see more black planes gracing the skies – Air New Zealand has re-signed as a major sponsor of the New Zealand Rugby Union until 2015.
The move extends the relationship between Air New Zealand and the New Zealand Rugby Union to 20 years and maintains the airline’s status as official sponsor of the All Blacks.
A new A320 aircraft due for delivery at the end of the month will be the second of its type to be painted in the airline’s Crazy About Rugby black livery, while the company’s regional airline, Eagle Air, will be painting three of its existing fleet of Beech 1900D turbo-props black early next year.
But the biggest all black paint job is being saved for Air New Zealand’s fifth and final Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, to be delivered to the airline in January next year.
This is the longest aircraft in Air New Zealand’s fleet and the airline believes it will be the largest ever commercial aircraft to sport an all black livery.
Chief executive Rob Fyfe said Air New Zealand’s partnership with the NZRU was its single largest sponsorship commitment.
NZRU chief executive Steve Tew also welcomed the extended partnership.
“New Zealand rugby, the All Blacks and our national carrier share a distinctly Kiwi identity and pride, as well as sharing a drive for excellence and determination to be the best. We’re excited to be on board with Air New Zealand for the next four years.”
As part of the deal the Air New Zealand logo will continue to take pride of place on the All Blacks training jersey and the airline will be the lead partner on the All Blacks' end of year tour. The deal also includes support for the ITM cup and the New Zealand Sevens teams.