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Etihad Airways Flies Manchester City Home After Winning UEFA Champions League

Etihad Airways Flies Manchester City Home After Winning UEFA Champions League


Etihad Airways has taken the Manchester City team home on a branded Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner after the team won the UEFA Champions League on June 10. Manchester City is the first European champion team to fly home on their own branded aircraft.


The win ends what has been an extremely successful season for Manchester City. The team won its third consecutive Premier League title, the 2023 FA Cup final, and the UEFA Champions League all in one season.




The 2022-23 season was the highest-scoring regular season in the Premier League's history, with a total of 1,084 goals scored. This is equivalent to 2.85 goals being scored per match, which is also the best ratio in the league's history. Erling Haaland played a large role in the team's success by scoring 36 of those goals, which is the most goals ever scored by an individual player in one season.


Photo: Etihad Airways

From an attendance perspective, Manchester City saw a total of 15,289,340 people attending its matches this season. This was the second consecutive Premier League season in which more than 15 million fans attended matches.


Etihad Airways' specially branded Dreamliner flew the team from Istanbul to Manchester Airport (MAN) on June 11 with the registration code A6-BND. The aircraft design incorporates Manchester City's blue color and team branding alongside the Etihad Airways logo.




Manchester City and Etihad Airways first announced their partnership in May 2009. The deal involved renaming the team's stadium to Etihad Stadium and creating a mixed-use development around the stadium, which was later named the Etihad Campus. The airline also offers nonstop service from Manchester to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

Photo: Manchester City FC

Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer Antonoaldo Neves said, "A first in the Club's history, last night's win is an outstanding achievement for our long-standing partners Manchester City. On behalf of the entire team at Etihad, our congratulations go to the fans, players, team, and the visionary leadership at City. We are delighted to celebrate the momentous occasion by flying the new Champions of Europe home to Manchester on their very own Club-branded aircraft."




Neves also highlighted how the airline's cabin crew offered the best quality of service and hospitality on board to honor the team's accomplishment. The amenities included a specially designed celebratory menu, cocktails with the team's signature blue color, and themed treats. 

Photo: Etihad Airways

Manchester City's Chief Executive Officer Ferran Soriano said, "This is a very special moment in the Club's history and travelling back to Manchester in a specially liveried aircraft is a fitting way to mark such a historic weekend. We are delighted to be able to share this success with Etihad and thank them for their fantastic support as a long-term partner of the club."




The Manchester City-branded Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner was first introduced to Etihad Airways' fleet in October 2019. Since then, the aircraft has flown to more than 60 destinations from its home in Abu Dhabi. These destinations include global tourist hotspots such as Paris, Melbourne, Singapore, and the Maldives.


Photo: Luiza Mietelska | AeroXplorer

Manchester City published a series of official team photos that showed the players on the Etihad Airways flight back home. The photos included the following players and their actions:


  • Aymeric Laporte bringing the trophy onto the aircraft
  • Ederson wearing a bucket hat and shade while boarding the aircraft
  • Team manager Pep Guardiola boarding the flight
  • Erling Haaland wearing the Champions League winners medal around his neck
  • Riyad Mahrez smiling at the camera while entering the cabin
  • Nathan Ake buckling up the trophy with the seat belt in a seat next to him


Manchester City held a large celebration because it was the first time that the team has won the UEFA Champions League in its 129-year history. The final score was 1-0 against Inter Milan.

George Mwangi
Aviation writer based in Washington, DC. Visited 21 countries on thousands of miles of flights.

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