Behind-the-scenes footage from Etihad's Mission: Impossible-inspired skydiving stunt

Parachuting musicians play the theme tune from the Tom Cruise franchise while free-falling

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Etihad Airways has shared behind-the-scenes footage of its adrenalin-fuelled stunt that saw “cabin crew” free-falling from a plane while playing the Mission: Impossible theme tune on musical instruments.

The original stunt was created to celebrate the UAE's national airline's links to Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, the latest instalment in the Tom Cruise action film franchise.

Released on YouTube and Twitter under the title Etihad Cabin Crew Training – the Final Mission, the video shows five people wearing flight attendants' uniforms leaping out of the rear of an airborne jet in a scene reminiscent of Cruise’s halo jump in Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

On Thursday the airline revealed details about how the stunt came together, including carrying out a specialised search for talented musicians who also happened to be skilled skydivers.

Before the jump, each skydiver was given their piece of music to practise and learn by heart so that they could play it perfectly while free-falling.

Custom rigging was created for each instrument to ensure the musicians could safely play and release their parachutes, and a professional skydiving cinematographer jumped with them each time to capture the action.

The weight of each musical instrument affected how fast the individual skydivers fell.

In the stunt, the crew leap from the plane and as they free-fall, begin to play the Mission: Impossible theme tune on violin, electric guitar and an electronic drum pad.

The group then open white parachutes and begin to float towards the ground.

“At Etihad, nothing is impossible. From meticulous training to exceptional dedication, our crew is the best in the skies,” reads the caption posted alongside the video on Twitter, with a prompt encouraging viewers to see Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.

The stunt is the latest in a series of promotional campaigns for the film, which shot key scenes at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Midfield Terminal.

Etihad recently relaunched its A380 superjumbo flights for the first time since the pandemic.

Flying exclusively to London from the UAE capital, the return of the world’s largest passenger jet has been announced as part of the airline’s partnership with the Hollywood franchise.

“Your mission, this summer is to fly remarkably from Abu Dhabi to London on our A380,” reads the message in the airline’s promotional video.

Etihad has also unveiled Mission: Impossible livery on one of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners and summer in-flight promotions for passengers, including cinema-style snacks and Mission: Impossible-themed mocktails.

Updated: August 10, 2023, 12:26 PM