Qatar Airways has a ball with new safety video

The video features FC Barcelona team members demonstrating various aspects of air safety.
PHOTO: YouTube screengrabs

Qatar Airways has released a safety video in collaboration with the football team it sponsors, FC Barcelona.

Featuring a cast of Barca's stars and their fans, the video was filmed almost entirely at the Spanish club's home turf, Camp Nou Stadium, which is a departure from most airline safety videos typically set on board aircraft.

The only aircraft shown is a drawing on a whiteboard, used when forward Lionel Messi helps a stewardess point out the aircraft's emergency exits.

The team members also aren't just there to lend their star power; like Messi, a few other players help to demonstrate the safety aspects on board the aircraft.

Defender Gerard Pique and his swooning fans show passengers how to use the plane's oxygen masks, while later, Pique and midfielder Javier Mascherano adopt the 'brace' position when facing a free kick.

And at the end of the video, forward Luis Suarez demonstrates how to properly inflate a life jacket.

Published on Dec 20, 2015, the video now has more than 9 million views on YouTube, and nearly 15 million views on Facebook.

Comments on the video praised its creativity and noted the fun the team was having. Less positive were comments on how the video was nothing new and that quirky videos have been the specialty of Air New Zealand for a long time.

The tongue-in-cheek safety videos produced by Air New Zealand have featured diverse casts of swimsuit models, seniors, and fitness instructors, but their most successful ones have been those themed around Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The two Hobbit-themed videos have a combined total of more than 27 million views on YouTube alone.

Even though the negative comments compare the video unfavourably to other similar videos published by Air New Zealand and rival airline Emirates, the positive comments outnumber the bad, with a few even saying they would fly with Qatar Airways just because of the video.