Flying high on board Etihad’s Furious 7 Boeing 777

Etihad's Furious 7-branded Boeing 777 is emblazoned with the words 'Fast & Furious 7 World Premiere 2015'.

Vin Diesel, centre, meets some of the Etihad crew of a flight from Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles on the Furious 7-branded Boeing 777. Courtesy Brandon Tseng
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There was something quite different about the state of the Boeing 777 Nadia Sehweil boarded for Etihad’s Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles route.

"Funnily enough, I just flew back from Los Angeles on Saturday and did notice that the plane had Fast & Furious painted on the side," says Sehweil, who owns the Bodytree Pilates, Yoga and Dance Studio in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad has splashed out on the snazzy logo in support of the first big-name Hollywood production to film in the capital, which opens in UAE cinemas on Thursday. Emblazoning the plane are the words: "Fast & Furious 7 World Premiere 2015".

The Abu Dhabi carrier is also sponsoring Furious 7's world premiere in Los Angeles on April 1.

One of the film’s stars, Tyrese Gibson, tweeted out the news: “... on your next flight – just look out the window and you will see that #Furious7 is on the way Hahahahhahahaha!!!! This is beyond HUGE......#Humbled and #Blessed”.

Sehweil, who is "not a huge Fast and Furious fan", hopes people will go see the film anyway.

“I do think it’s great that it was filmed in Abu Dhabi, and it is the right place to film a car-­related movie because of the car-­obsessed culture and the amazing well-paved roads, wide lanes and scenery we have in the country,” she says. “I’m not sure I would watch the movie, but I would encourage people abroad to watch it to see how amazing Abu Dhabi is.”

Khamis Naser Almazrouei, a student at Higher Colleges of Technology's Abu Dhabi Men's College, is looking forward to seeing the banner on the plane when he flies to Los Angeles in the coming days. "I really hope to be on the Fast and Furious ­Etihad plane, as I am a big fan of the movie and cannot wait to go to the cinema when it comes out in the UAE," he says.

"The Fast and Furious films are very popular here, because many young people in the UAE like fast cars and they can identify with the movie. Also, the movie was filmed in Abu Dhabi. This is a proud moment for all ­Emiratis."

Etihad is known for prominently displaying support of its business endeavours and sponsorship deals. Three years ago, it emblazoned the words “Manchester City Football Club” across an A330-200 aircraft and painted it blue in support of the English Premier League football club that the company sponsors.

The Furious 7 logo will remain on the aircraft for the next four to six months.

Furious 7 star Vin Diesel, who paid a visit to Los Angeles International Airport earlier in March to greet the plane, believes the movie is going to boost interest in the capital dramatically.

"I think when people see Furious 7, there are going to be a lot more plane tickets going to Abu Dhabi," he told The National. "Trust me. You guys tell me what the tourism rate goes to."

Furious 7 opens in the UAE on Thursday, April 2