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Tennis champ plays vs. new aircraft

A video of a staged match between the world number five player and a plane goes viral.

The Latvian airline airBaltic recently challenged one of the world’s best tennis players to a match against its own new Bombardier CS300 aircraft.

Alona Ostapenko, aged 20 and already Latvia’s greatest tennis player – ranked earlier this year as the world’s women’s number five, according to the Women’s Tennis Association – took up the challenge before setting off to defend her title as winner of the 2017 French Open.

The airline created a video of the human-versus-aircraft tennis match, where Ostapenko competes for the status of who is the most precise player.

The marketing gimmick involving the “world’s most punctual airline” generated over 35,000 views around the world during the first 24 hours, airBaltic says. The result of the match between Alona Ostapenko and the Bombardier CS300 was a tie.

In January, it was revealed that airBaltic was ranked first worldwide by punctuality in 2017 by the analysts OAG, which tracked the performance of 50 million flight records of various airlines. airBaltic has been at the top of the list for the last four years.

Tennis action
In the video, which can be watched here, an airBaltic crew member throws balls into the jetstream of the aircraft, which shoots them over a net towards the tennis player. She has to hit the balls back over the net to score the points.

Eventually, after hitting a supposed 90 out of 90, the airline’s engines are turned up and the next ball powers right through Ostapenko’s tennis racket. The message then appears that 90.1% of airBaltic’s flights arrive on time. “Beat this precision”, it adds.

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