Mario Balotelli and AC Milan stars fly high with Emirates A380 design

The club and its sponsor are celebrating their near-decade long partnership with a new Airbus A380 livery.

AC Milan players feature on a new Emirates livery. Courtesy Emirates
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AC Milan’s footballers may be some way from the summit of the Italian league, Serie A, but that hasn’t stopped them from soaring away elsewhere.

The club and its sponsor, Emirates, are celebrating their partnership with a new Airbus A380 livery - complete with a number of the players in action.

The aircraft operated on the Dubai-Milan-New York JFK route with images of Riccardo Montolivo, Mario Balotelli, Carlos Bacca, Keisuke Honda, Alessio Romagnoli, and Mattia De Sciglio spanning more than 500 sq metres.

Emirates said that the “AC Milan A380” will continue to operate to the 37 destinations it currently serves around the world.

“Emirates has been a proud sponsor of AC Milan for almost a decade and we are excited to showcase our sponsorship with the club around the world,” said Boutros Boutros, Emirates divisional senior vice president, corporate communications, marketing and brand. “We hope that the AC Milan branded A380 excites both football and aviation fans alike.”

The Dubai carrier rolled out a similar football-related aircraft last year when it flew England Premier League side Arsenal on its pre-season tour to Singapore.

The Boeing 777-200LR featured Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere on one side of the fuselage, plus Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud on the other. On board, menus and headrests were given an Arsenal theme.

Emirates’ trend of decorating aircraft with footballing superstars continued in December, when it unveiled a Real Madrid version of its A380 - the world’s largest passenger plane. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were among the players included in the design.

Emirates also sponsors top European clubs Olympiacos, Hamburger and Paris Saint-Germain.

It has been extending its sporting connection beyond football recently, having announced a deal to beocme the official airline sponsor of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.

The airline said it would open a lounge at the team’s home stadium, and the Dodgers would lend their name to Dubai’s Little League team.

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