The aircraft, whose livery is an exact look-alike of the AT&T Williams racing car, was held to coincide with the Malaysian Grand Prix which starts tomorrow and to mark AirAsia’s extended three year partnership with the Williams Formula One team.
AirAsia’s Williams aircraft is a fitting tribute to Williams’ traditional racing colors of blue and white, whilst the ‘nose’ of the aircraft is designed to look like Nico Rosberg’s racing helmet. The aircraft AFW30 was named ‘Sir Frank Williams’ in tribute to Sir Frank Williams, Team Principal of Williams.
Fans of the famed drivers came all the way around the region to seize the golden opportunity from the greet and meet session with the drivers. They were joined by Dato’ Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia Berhad, Adam Parr, Williams F1 Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Board of Directors and also the local and regional media.
The session also saw both drivers touring the aircraft as well as setting the fastest lap time on AirAsia’s Williams Formula One simulator which was located at the LCCT concourse area. Fans also had the privilege of getting close to a Formula One car by taking part in a virtual race on AirAsia’s Williams Formula One simulator. The experience and unique chance to sit in the driving seat of a Formula One car provided them a whole new dimension to the game.
Prior to LCCT, the AirAsia’s Williams Formula One simulator has been around town to build-up the hype prior to the F1 race. These places include One Utama Shopping Mall, Sunburst Festival, Bangsar Village and subsequently at the Sepang Circuit from 23-24 March 2008. Plans are underway to embark on a regional road show to Jakarta, Thailand as well as other destinations serviced by AirAsia.
Dato’ Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO
“As a true five-star low fare airline, we are proud to be associated with AT&T Williams Team. We have always believed in investing in great talents and embrace innovation that sets us apart from the other airlines. We are glad that our vision in this investment is reaping rewards as AT&T Williams Team is such an incredible success story. Their performance-driven spirit, independently owned, distinctiveness and passion are the same qualities that we strive for. AirAsia echoes these qualities as we are a reflection of a true Malaysian company that has high hopes to become a truly global player, building a company from scratch to become the leading and largest low cost carrier in Asia.
We are extremely pleased to have Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima here with us today. This tie-up is not only a good learning avenue for us but is also a platform to achieve the highest quality and safety standards by sharing experience, embracing the values of teamwork in the pursuit of our goals. This is yet another exciting development for AirAsia as one of our key strategies is to extend our brand globally and communicate with people via sports marketing. The unveiling of AT&T Williams livery sees us moving closer to achieving this goal through our partnership with such an impressive and inspiring team."
“It has been incredible to see the AT&T Williams livery on AirAsia’s plane. I’m delighted that the design of my helmet, which I have been racing with all my life, has been used to create a lasting tribute to the team’s partnership with Air Asia."
“I am very impressed at how well the Williams Toyota FW30’s design has translated to the SFW30 Airbus. I think we would all like to thank AirAsia for this great venture and we are proud to be associated with the Airline of the Year 2007. This is indeed a source of inspiration to both of us going into the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend." added Kazuki Nakajima, AT&T Williams Formula One driver." Williams Toyota