Flying Lions?


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Rand Airport – Johannesburg, 5 May 2017:  Puma Energy, the global integrated midstream and downstream energy company, today announced its sponsorship of the Flying Lions aerobatic team with a thrilling aerial display held for members of the media at Johannesburg’s Rand Airport.

The Flying Lions team celebrated the new sponsorship with a low fly-by and aerobatic display over Rand Airport with the team’s Harvard AT6 aircraft, newly branded in the red, green and white colours of Puma Energy.

The talented pilots, who are the main drawcards on the air show circuit, will perform at all major air shows on the South African calendar over the coming year, flying Puma Energy colours at new heights across the country.

Speaking from Rand Airport, Group Chief Operating Officer for Puma Energy, Christophe Zyde expressed the group’s enthusiasm for the sponsorship “Puma Energy is proud to team up with the Flying Lions, a world-class aerobatic team. As a global fuel business, we are committed to the same world class service: providing high quality, competitively priced products to our many customers around the world. This is particularly true for our aviation customers: from small flying schools, through to large commercial airliners, we fuel journeys for business and pleasure. We look forward to an exciting partnership together that will bring Puma Energy to life in a new and exciting way for our customers in South Africa and beyond.”

The Flying Lions have navigated four ‘Texan’ aircraft in breath-taking synchronised aerial displays at air shows and trade shows across South Africa and neighbouring African countries for the past 17 years and still include two of the founding pilots. The team comprises renowned pilots Scully LevinArnie MeneghelliEllis Levin and Sean Thackwray. Over the years the team have continued to refine their shows with manoeuvres that have been honed by feedback from spectators, as well as years of practice and flying experience to ensure the displays are always world class.

Arnie Meneghelli , Flying Lions Ground Affairs Team Manager said, “When a strong global player like Puma Energy, still relatively new in the SA market, joins forces with the Flying Lions, it creates a powerful mobile tool to reach the public across the many venues where we perform across the country. We believe this sponsorship means that the Flying Lions Team can help Puma Energy to achieve greater visibility and recognition. As a close-knit team that lives and breathes flying, we the pilots are tremendously dedicated to what we do and derive great pleasure and satisfaction from bringing formation and display flying to the South African public so they can share our passion.” 

Zohra McDoolley-Aimone, Regional Head of Corporate Affairs for Puma Energy Africa, commented on the rationale for the sponsorship, “We were attracted to join forces with the Flying Lions because they represent precision, high performance and passion – qualities that are perfectly aligned with Puma Energy’s values.  This sponsorship made sense to us because it speaks to our strategy of making use of the most targeted, impactful and innovative way of representing our brand in the public eye, globally and here in South Africa.”

On the African continent Puma Energy has grown to become one of the largest independent storage and downstream companies in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is now present in 19 countries from Senegal to South Africa and continually looks to expand its footprint from West to East.  Sub-Saharan Africa is a key growth market for Puma Energy, which is the fastest growing independent fuel distribution company in Africa.

Puma Energy operates at 63 airports across Latin America, Africa, and Asia-Pacific, providing consistently high-quality products and services to airlines, aircraft operators and aircraft owners. 

The company launched its operations in South Africa in February 2016 and less than a year later, in January 2017, started operations at O.R Tambo International airport, strengthening its African network and enhancing supply security to this major international airport.

About Puma Energy

In Africa: Puma Energy announced expansion into the South African market in 2015 through the acquisition of several retail distributors. The Group is now present in 19 countries from Senegal to South Africa and continues to expand its footprint from West to East. Puma Energy has invested close to US$2 billion in Africa and over the last two years added 464k m3 of storage capacity to the 726k m3 it already had in the region. The Group has a network of 740 retail sites and storage capacity of 1.2million m3 on the continent. 

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Distributed on behalf of Puma Energy by FTI Consulting:

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Nolly Ntlakana
Consultant, Strategic Communications

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