Mumbai Indians cricketing stars, defending champions of the Indian Premier League, brought smiles and cheers to over 40 lucky children during a special evening hosted by the airline for its top selling travel agents this week.

Children from Magic Bus, a leading Indian non-governmental organisation working on moving youngsters out of poverty, were treated to an unforgettable meet and greet gathering with some of the world’s top cricket players.

Joined by children of Etihad Airways’ leading travel agents in Mumbai, the youngsters had a fantastic evening in the company of their sporting heroes.

The players, led by coach Ricky Ponting and team captain Rohit Sharma, signed autographs and had pictures taken with the youngsters, making it a dream come true for the young boys and girls who were also treated to Etihad Airways and Mumbai Indians merchandise.

Later in the evening, the Mumbai Indians attended a cocktail reception just for frontline travel agents who are part of Etihad Airways’ highly successful ‘SuperSeller’ trade incentive and loyalty programme.

Neerja Bhatia, Etihad Airways Vice President Indian Subcontinent, said: “With our strong commitment to India operating flights from 11 gateway cities, Etihad Airways is equally committed to promoting and supporting a culture of social responsibility.

“Seeing the beaming smiles of so many children from the Magic Bus India Foundation and children of our travel agents meeting their cricketing heroes provided a great sense of pride and fulfilment as Etihad Airways is committed to supporting local initiatives and giving back to the community.

“The Mumbai Indians is one of the biggest sporting brands in India and Etihad Airways is one of the biggest airline brands in India. We were delighted to bring together the two brands for a great evening with our travel trade partners who are among our biggest supporters in India.”

Magic Bus takes children on a journey from childhood to livelihood and out of poverty by using an education and activity-based programme delivered by youth mentors. Its work in 22 states across India equips some of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable children and young people with the skills and knowledge needed to develop sustainable livelihoods.

Etihad Airways and strategic partner Jet Airways are in their third year of sponsoring the Mumbai Indians in the Vivo Indian Premier League T20 Season. The Mumbai Indians is one of the most successful franchise teams in the IPL, crowned champions of the 2013 and 2015 tournaments.

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