Irish Rugby Takes Off

Aer Lingus goes green with new branded aircraft, Green Spirit, to support national team's World Cup bid in September 2015

Aer Lingus have unveiled a newly-painted aircraft in Irish Rugby Football Union and player branding, following the recent announcement of its partnership deal with the IRFU and ahead of this year's Rugby World Cup.

Green Spirit, an Airbus A320, went into service on May 11, operating across Aer Lingus' short haul network to the UK and continental Europe.

Having been given its own hashtag (#GreenSpirit), the airline is asking customers who spot the aircraft or fly on board to spread the word and share photos.

The partnership will see Ireland's national airline link up with the Irish rugby team, which has risen to third in the World Rugby rankings after back-to-back RBS 6 Nations Championship wins under the helm of coach Joe Schmidt.

Watch a timelapse video of the Green Spirit plane being branded with Irish Rugby colours and symbols above, and highlights of Ireland's triumphant 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championship clash with England below.

'Green Spirit will be seen by many and not only promotes Aer Lingus but will spread awareness of Irish rugby throughout the continent,' said Stephen Kavanagh, Chief Executive Officer at Aer Lingus. 'We're delighted to have been given the opportunity to support Irish rugby in this way.'

The Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off at Twickenham on Friday, September 18 while Ireland play Canada in their opening fixture at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium the following day.