Dubai-based Emirates, the world’s largest international airline and also the ‘Official Main Partner’ of the legendary Real Madrid soccer team, was enlisted to take the team’s squad from Madrid (MAD) to Riyadh (RUH) in Saudi Arabia.
The purpose of the specially chartered flight was to transport the 2021/22 Champions League winners to the Saudi capital ahead of their Spanish Super Cup match against arch-rivals Athletic Madrid held on January 10, 2025.
Having flown in style onboard one of Emirates’ 144-strong fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs, the service onboard must have suited the team well. They saw off their local nemesis on the pitch, with Real Madrid winning the game 5-3 after extra time.
“Onboard the special charter flight, Nacho Fernández, Eduardo Camavinga, Vini Jr., Luka Modric, and other star players experienced bespoke inflight services to rest and recharge ahead of the match,” according to an Emirates statement. “A customized menu for the club featured creative culinary delights inspired by their trip. Specially branded touchpoints and meticulous attention to detail rounded off the inflight experience. The players were also spoilt for choice as they browsed their favorite shows, movies, and music on Emirates’ ice inflight entertainment system.”
Emirates has been supporting Real Madrid as its official partner since 2011. As the team’s official shirt sponsor, the airline describes its role in the partnership as “joining up fan experiences with the iconic club to reach its massive fanbase of over 500 million loyal followers around the world.”
Previously, the carrier has provided aircraft to Real Madrid and transported them on special charter flights on numerous tours, including other sporting events staged in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The carrier has announced that it will remain the Official Main Airline Partner of Real Madrid until 2026. This makes the partnership between the two iconic organizations the longest shirt sponsorship deal in the history of La Liga.