When the news first came about a launch and joint announcement between AirAsia, (RED) and 88rising set to take place at one of the hangars at AirAsia at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, we immediately felt a rumbling excitement in our Asian bellies that something monumental has been brewing beneath the surface for the last couple of months.
While we were still recuperating from the visceral turmoil of having watched Bohemian Rhapsody – a poignant film adaption about the bewildering journey of Freddie Mercury (played by Rami Malek) and Queen one of Britain’s most prodigious act in music history – we can’t help but felt the collaboration is somehow inexorably connected to the film.
The (WEAREALLCHAMPIONS)RED livery launch at Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE) KLIA2 last week saw AirAsia announce its partnership with (RED), a non-profit organisation that has generated $350 million to date in support of the Global Fund to fight AIDS in ASEAN.
During the launch, CEO of (RED) Deborah Dugan confirmed the campaign was, in fact, part of a larger initiative that included the release of Bohemian Rhapsody. Its aim? To champion one of its long-standing objectives to ‘partner with the world’s biggest brands’ and ultimately ‘fund HIV/AIDS health and community programmes through the Global Fund’.
“Loved by millions and committed to making a real difference in Southeast Asia, the (AirAsia)RED partnership is literally taking the AIDS fight to new heights,” said (RED) CEO Deborah Dugan.
According to AirAsia, the funds generated from the (AirAsia)RED partnership will go directly to the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS programmes in ASEAN, home to nearly 1.8 million people living with HIV, according to 2017 UNAIDS data.
AirAsia has pledged proceeds from its current Free Seats promotion and various activities planned for 2019. For every seat sold on airasia.com and the AirAsia mobile app during the 24-hour period from noon Nov 12 until noon on Nov 14, Wednesday (GMT +8), AirAsia will donate 20 US cents, enough to buy one day’s worth of live-saving antiretroviral treatment for someone living with HIV.
Following Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Deborah Dugan’s stints in the music industry, it came as no surprise that the brainchild of this collaboration is also the result of another passion-fumed philanthropic project involving music: On the same evening, they’ve collaboratively announced partnership with Sean Miyashiro’s creative company 88rising to launch an ASEAN-focus music and arts festival next year. 88rising is best known as the team behind Internet-breaking sensations, including Joji, Rich Brian, Higher Brothers and Keith Ape).
“88rising is absolutely over the moon with the idea of an amazing music and arts festival in Asean… [88rising] will put all of our creative minds together to make this experience one of a kind, while creating massive awareness and engagement to a globally minded audience,” said 88rising Founder and CEO Sean Miyashiro.
Guests at the livery launch were also treated to a live performance by Los Angeles-based rapper Dumbfoundead, an 88rising collaborator who performed at their recent Head in the Clouds festival in the US.
The event was attended by Malaysian Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) Malaysian Business Consortium on HIV/AIDS Manager Dr Rethish Raghu, and MAF Advocacy Manager Dayana Omar.