ETIHAD AIRWAYS AND UNIVERSAL PICTURES UNVEIL NEWLY-DECALED"FAST & FURIOUS" PLANE

First Stop of the Luxury Boeing Jet Airliner Kicks off Global Junket and World Premiere of Furious 7

18 Mar, 2015, 21:45 ET from Universal Pictures

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., March 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and Universal Pictures today unveiled the luxury Fast & Furious 777 airliner at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  Actor/producer Vin Diesel was on hand as Etihad Airways Flight 171 arrived from Abu Dhabi to kick off the global junket and world premiere of Furious 7.  The film arrives in theaters on April 3.

Representing a welcome first for the franchise, the Fast & Furious 777 will fly the direct route between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles, which Etihad Airways opened in June 2014.  The airline is also a sponsor of the Furious 7 world premiere, which takes place in Los Angeles on April 1.

As the United Arab Emirates offered an opportunity to inject striking elements and locales into the series' mythology, Abu Dhabi became a key location for the Furious 7 production.  Over the course of two weeks in April 2014, the team lensed in areas outside Abu Dhabi in the Liwa Desert, as well as in the city center at such locations as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Emirates Palace hotel, the Yas Marina F1 race circuit and the Etihad Towers.  Considering Abu Dhabi's striking skyline—one accentuated with stunning architectural achievements—aerial shots of the skyscrapers were mandatory.

"Etihad Airways is one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world with a strong history of culture and innovation and a commitment to reimagining the travel experience for our guests," said Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways.  "We are pleased to work together with Universal, an organization that shares that same spirit of innovation and reimagination when it comes to the world of entertainment, to unveil our newly-decaled Boeing 777 aircraft in support of the Fast & Furious franchise and Furious 7, which premieres next month and highlights our airline's home of Abu Dhabi."

"When we began filming The Fast and the Furious in 2000, if you told me that we would one day have our logo on a wide-body jet, I would have said you were crazy," said producer Neal H. Moritz, who has shepherded all seven films in the series.  "We are so honored that Etihad has partnered with us to support this very personal film, and we thank the people of the United Arab Emirates for all the kindness and graciousness they showed throughout production."

The Fast & Furious decal will remain on the plane for the next four to six months.

About Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways began operations in 2003, and in 2014 carried 14.8 million passengers.  From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to 111 existing or announced passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.  The airline has a fleet of 111 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 69 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and nine Airbus A380s.

Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus, Alitalia, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia, and is in the process of formalising an equity investment in Swiss-based Etihad Regional, operated by Darwin Airline.  Etihad Airways, along with airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways and NIKI, also participate in Etihad Airways Partners, a new brand that brings together like-minded airlines to offer customers more choice through improved networks and schedules and enhanced frequent flyer benefits.  For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com.

About Furious 7

Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges and Jordana Brewster return to form a furious team of seven family members united in purpose.  They are joined by Fast fan favorites Elsa Pataky and Lucas Black, as well new additions to the ensemble including Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey and Tony Jaa

With Furious 7, this crew heads across the globe for one last ride together in their most gravity-defying and emotional adventure to date.  And as they form a tighter band than ever: The Furious 7—Dom, Brian, Hobbs, Letty, Roman, Tej and Mia—they will face their greatest threat yet in places as far away as Abu Dhabi and Azerbaijan…and as familiar as the streets they call home.  www.furious7.com   

About Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com).  Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal.  NBCUniversal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.  NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks.  NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

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SOURCE Universal Pictures



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