SEPANG: Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has become the first local institute of higher learning to take its branding to the skies.
Designed by the Design and Architecture Faculty, a special aircraft livery was produced, showcasing the university name, logo and the Rain Tree motif, a tree found at UPM's agriculture park.
The livery is now being displayed on AirAsia's Airbus A320-200 aircraft with the registration number 9MAQD.
AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said the special livery would be displayed only on one aircraft, adding it was about quality not quantity.
"This is the first time in the world, I think, that I am aware of, a university livery has been painted on a plane.
"It is definitely the first in Asia. It is a great day for UPM," he said after the launch of UPM livery on AirAsia aircraft today by Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.
Also present were Higher Education Ministry's secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur, UPM Vice Chancellor Datin Paduka Aini Ideris, AirAsia Bhd executive chairman and Group CEO of AirAsia X Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and Sepang Aircraft Engineering chief executive officer Pierre Y. Reville.
Fernandes also said the UPM livery would be permanent on the aircraft with some changes to be made over time.
"The aircraft has flown since last month. We tried to keep it quiet (before today's launch), but we have received pictures even those from Lion Air CEO who said it was nice," he said, adding that the aircraft would be used for various destinations in Asia.
Earlier, Idris said today's launch of UPM livery on an AirAsia aircraft was an outcome of the CEO Faculty programme.
"It is the result of collaboration between the industry and academia. Today is the testimony that things are soaring upward," he said.
Fernandes said the main reason for the relation he had formed with UPM was to ensure the industry would harness the best graduates who could communicate, participate, be creative and innovative.
"People is the biggest reason we have grown. We can only grow with the best people.
"The CEO Faculty programme is not just about students learning from the CEOs, but it is also for the CEOs to learn what they can get from the universities," he said.