Toyota Motorsport GmbH and Kingfisher Airlines, India’s fastest growing airline, today announced the signing of an exciting new official partnership.
Multi award-winning Kingfisher Airlines will become an official partner of Panasonic Toyota Racing as part of their multi-year agreement starting in 2007. With immediate effect, the distinctive ‘Fly Kingfisher’ insignia will appear on the car, drivers’ overalls and helmets and all corporate branding platforms.
The deal was signed at the team’s pre-season event at Expo XXI in Cologne, with Dr Vijay Mallya, Chairman and CEO, Kingfisher Airlines Limited and Panasonic Toyota Racing President John Howett announcing the partnership.
The deal, rated as one of corporate India’s biggest overseas partnerships, marks the largest sports partnership programme so far for the 21-month-old Kingfisher Airlines and is the first time an airline based in India has partnered on this scale with a Formula 1 team.
Kingfisher Airlines commenced operations with a brand new fleet of aircraft on May 9 2005. Having started with just four flights a day, today it offers 146 flights daily connecting 25 key Indian business and leisure destinations on a fleet of 24 brand new aircraft.
The partnership means Kingfisher Airlines and Panasonic Toyota Racing will co-operate to raise the profile of the team and Formula 1 in India, while showcasing the Kingfisher Airlines brand across the world.
Toyota Motorsport President John Howett said: "This partnership is exciting news, not just for Panasonic Toyota Racing but for Formula 1 in general. We hope this partnership will strengthen Formula 1’s position in India and bring Panasonic Toyota Racing to the people of India. We are pleased to add another ambitious and successful brand like Kingfisher Airlines to our partner portfolio and we will help them as they expand into an international operation."
Revealing the vision behind the partnership with a global sports event on the scale of Formula 1, Dr Vijay Mallya, Chairman and CEO, Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, commented: "Of all the available partnership opportunities and platforms, Formula 1 is the most premium and the most visible one. This association with Panasonic Toyota Racing will naturally enhance the image of Kingfisher Airlines and catapult it to a league of select and renowned international brands that typically support Formula 1 initiatives. The shared values of Kingfisher Airlines and Formula 1 racing – a dedication to innovation, delighting viewers and guests, and commitment to absolute excellence – are highly complimentary. Additionally, we intend to weave together a series of compelling consumer engagement initiatives that will reward our guests flying on board Kingfisher Airlines with free opportunities to watch Formula 1 races live among other exciting rewards."