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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Airways, official airline partner of the Special Olympics and national airline of the UAE, and the Al Fursan aerobatic stunt team performed a spectacular show in the sky to mark the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. 

Etihad’s flagship Airbus A380 performed a low-level flight above Zayed Sports City Stadium at 6pm on Thursday 14 March, in synchronisation with Al Fursan’s jets which produced a vivid smoke flume in the Special Olympics colours.

The A380 flight was piloted by Captain Richard Dyson and Captain Adel Al Zubaidi, with Captain Kian Siew Beh performing the challenging task of maintaining flight timings to the second.

Al Fursan’s team of seven Aermacchi aircraft are each flown by a single pilot, in a V formation. Two miles from the stadium, the aircraft descended to 800 ft and maintained a stable flight level for 30 seconds for the flyover, travelling at 220 knots, 407 km per hour.

Hundreds of volunteers from Etihad Airways supported the Opening Ceremony and the airline’s Cabin Crew walked in the parade with the VIP dignitaries in attendance while Chief Commercial Officer Robin Kamark walked alongside Team Norway.

Etihad Airways has ferried athletes, equipment, coaches, dignitaries, and media to Abu Dhabi from all over the world for the event. The athletes are accompanied by 2,500 coaches and delegates.

The Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 takes place between 14 – 21 March and you can find further information here:


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