India’s fastest growing airline has announced it is becoming and official partner of Panasonic Toyota Racing as part of a multi-year agreement starting in 2007. Drivers will have Kingfisher logos on their helmets, overalls and all other corporate branding platforms.
The deal was signed between the Chairman and CEO of Kingfisher Airlines, Dr Vijay Mallya, and Panasonic Toyota Racing’s President, John Howett, at the Formula 1 teams’ pre-season event in Cologne. The deal is one of the largest that an Indian firm has signed for sponsoring an overseas team, and it is the first time that an Indian airline has partnered on such a large scale in the motorsport world. The partnership hopes that they will raise the profile of Formula 1 in India whilst exposing the Kingfisher Airline brand to international markets.
Kingfisher Airlines started out in 2005 with just four flights per day. Since 2005, it has grown enormously and now has 146 daily flights, mainly connecting the major Indian cities.
Toyota’s 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.”
Dr Vijay Mallya had this to say about the partnership: “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.”