--Oakland Mayor Dellums Joined by Legendary Hall of Famers and 3-time Superbowl winners, Hendricks, Branch, Otto, Biletnikoff, Villapiano, Flores and Bradshaw onboard to welcome AirAsia to OAK on September 14th--
OAKLAND, CA -- The celebration is heating up as some of the most legendary Raiders join in the festivities kicking off the recent partnership with AirAsia. Cliff Branch, Fred Biletnikoff, Ted Hendricks, Jim Otto, Phil Villapiano, Tom Flores and Morris Bradshaw will join Mark Davis and Amy Trask as the Raiders' branded AirAsia plane touches down in the US for the first time.
The most recognized voice of Raiders Football, Greg Papa will be the emcee of the landing celebration of the Raiders-branded AirAsia plane. The aircraft is named 'Xcellence', to match the Oakland Raiders' motto 'Commitment to Excellence'. AirAsia and the Oakland Raiders have partnered to expand the Raider's fan base in Asia and to promote the AirAsia brand in the United States, creating excitement for future entry into the US market.
"The Raider Organization welcomes AirAsia and Xcellence to Oakland," Raiders owner Mark Davis said. "Together we will be a winning team for years to come!"
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, "We're honored to have the Mayor of Oakland, 3-time Superbowl winners and hall of famers on site to welcome Xcellence into the US."
AirAsia already dominates the Southeast Asian market with its unparallel connectivity of routes and frequency of flights. AirAsia X, the world's only low-cost long-haul carrier, enjoys a synergistic relationship with its short-haul affiliate. Guests arriving from Europe, Middle East, Northern China and Australia on AirAsia X are able to tap into AirAsia's extensive route choices and reach exotic destinations such as Bali (Indonesia), Phuket (Thailand), Penang (Malaysia) and more via the airline's hubs in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
AirAsia X CEO, Azran Osman-Rani commented, "These are some of the top players in NFL history - we're ecstatic to have them supporting the relationship between AirAsia and the Raiders."
He also said AirAsia X is now in the process of negotiations with airports in the United States over a possibility of operating flights into America. Azran added, "US destinations are very much in our long term plans, as demonstrated by our recent order for 10 Airbus A350 aircraft. These planes would be delivered beginning 2016. However, we are exploring ways of commencing flights to the US much earlier than 2016."
AirAsia X is the first Asian airline to sponsor an NFL team, and the operator of the world's first NFL aircraft livery. Xcellence will land and depart from the low-cost Oakland International Airport (OAK), the gateway to San Francisco and all that the Bay Area has to offer.
"We are pleased to welcome the first AirAsia flight to the U.S., another noteworthy item in our long history of aviation firsts," said Port of Oakland Acting Director of Aviation, Deborah Ale Flint. "Additionally, we hope that AirAsia will consider Oakland as its permanent home base in the future."
Oakland Raiders are the latest of AirAsia's partnership with popular sports entities. AirAsia is currently a partner of the AT&T Williams Formula One team and was previously the official low cost airline for the Manchester United Football Club, globally recognized as the biggest soccer team in the world.
AirAsia, the leading and largest low-cost carrier in Asia, services the most extensive network with 113 routes covering more than 70 destinations. Within the grasp of 7 years of operation, AirAsia has carried over 70 million passengers and grown its fleet from just two aircraft to 80. The airline today is proud to be a truly Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) airline with established operations based in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, servicing a network stretching across all Asean countries, China, India and Bangladesh. This is further complemented by AirAsia X, its low cost long-haul affiliate carrier that currently flies to destinations in Northern China, Australia, the UK and now the Middle East. AirAsia is the only regional carrier with the largest destination network and highest flight frequencies. AirAsia has been awarded the 2009 World's Best Low Cost Airline in the annual World Airline Survey by Skytrax.
Sarah Stabile (USA)
Nazatul Ekma Mokhtar (Malaysia)
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