MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Aeroflot has signed up as Manchester United's official airline in the first international sports sponsorship deal for the Russian carrier.
United managing director Richard Arnold says the deal is the club's "first commercial venture in Russia, an expanding market we are keen to explore further." United has 18 million followers in Russia, according to Arnold, "demonstrating the partnership's potential audience in the country."
Aeroflot, which is replacing Turkish Airlines as the club's carrier, said United was "impressed by its attention to flight safety and security." The carrier "will also provide charter services whenever suitable on its newest long-haul Airbus and Boeing airplanes" in its five-year contract.
United has been amassing global sponsors — revenue is set to hit 350 million pounds ($545 million) in the last financial year.