Kempston firm flying high with Argentina’s World Cup winners

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The Argentina players board their flydubai plane (image: flydubai.com)

A Kempston-based business was up against the clock when they were tasked with creating the winners’ livery for the Argentinian football team’s official plane.

CGI (Creative Graphics International) has been in business since the late 1970s and creates branding and liveries for vehicles including caravans, aeroplanes, cars and yachts.

Their business is worldwide, spanning the US, Europe, Australia and the Middle East, so it was no surprise when flydubai contacted them, having been appointed the official airline of the Argentina team during the World Cup in Qatar.

The airline wanted to wrap two of their Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft with newly designed livery featuring players including Angel Di Maria, Julian Alvarez, Lautaro Martínez, Leandro Paredes, Lionel Messi and Rodrigo De Paul.

Ahead of the tournament, CGI printed the designs in Kempston, and installers flew to Dubai to prepare the planes in November.

“As Argentina progressed through the tournament, someone at flydubai realised there was a chance they might win,” Simon Jarman, CEO of CGI told the Bedford Independent.

“They got in touch and asked us to re-livery the planes with ‘campeón’ and some images of the World Cup. It was a huge gamble by flydubai. If France had won on Sunday, they’d have had to rip everything off.”

With the task in hand, CGI worked around the clock to pull the project together.

“It was the most amazing team effort,” said Simon. “Every single part of the business pulled together and we found four installers who were happy to fly to Dubai and work for over 24 hours to make sure everything was finished in time,” said Simon.

“I think they were probably asleep during the actual final.”

Just hours after the nail-biting penalty shoot-out, Messi, Martínez and Alexis Mac Allister were seen boarding their official plane, home to the street parties in Buenos Aires.

“The big reveal was just hours after the final whistle,” said Simon. “I’m incredibly proud of the team. Absolutely everybody stepped up to the challenge.”