As some of you know, AirAsia has a Airbus A320 painted in the livery of Manchester United. I'm not a fan of the club but the Red Devil Airbus as it's fondly known as is one of the most striking planes in the world. Last year when we flew into Manchester airport every staff on the tarmac was pulling out cameras and snapping away. This was especially ego boosting as there were no announcements but the word had spread through the airport staff network.
So a recap, we flew in the Red Devil from Kuala Lumpur to Manchester. We took off at about 8pm on the 30th of September. This was a promotional trip where AirAsia flew the MyTeam reality show football team to Manchester to play a friendly match against the Ron Atkinson Academy.The A320 is a short haul aircraft so we had to stop off to re-fuel in Karachi Pakistan and Lanarka in Cypress. The flight was much longer to the UK and back because of this and tookabout 22 hours.
As this was a charter flight the re-fuelling stops were always eventful. Wrong fuel companies turning up, delays of various reasons with the respective airport authorities especially in Pakistan. All this compunded to the fact that we couldn't leave the plane, restricted to the stairs that the engineers and airport authorities used to get in and out of the plane.
The flight was filled with MyTeam football squad and production crew, Hotlink contest winners, some kids from the Scomi underpriveledged kids program and of course the AirAsia staff and incentive trip winners. All in all about 115 people.
Since it was a charter it was more relaxed. We had folks walking up and down the aisles, playing cards, but essentially just sleeping the hours away.
AirAsia Photocall with Tevez, Nani, Anderson, Eagles and Pique on the 4th of October 2007
The MU young guns turn up for some promotional photo session inside the plane.
Got to ride in the cockpit for a bit. Most excellent when you have the glowing controls in front and the star spotted sky outside the heated windows. Felt like saying "Chewie, punch it!"
Dubai. This is not the best shot though. As we approached Dubai it seemed the whole horizon was glowing with the lights from the incredible city.
Tensions grew high over the long hours...