Badminton World Federation secretary general Thomas Lund is pleased with the overall response to the launch of AirBadminton ©BWF

Badminton World Federation (BWF) secretary general Thomas Lund says he is pleased with the response to the launch of AirBadminton.

And he claims further efforts are needed to educate the sport community on the availability and design of the new outdoor shuttlecock, the AirShuttle.

AirBadminton is designed to create opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to play badminton on hard, grass and sand surfaces around the world.

The AirShuttle has increased resistance to wind compared to the traditional shuttlecock, helping people to experience a more positive introduction to the sport in an outdoor environment.

BWF launched AirBadminton at a ceremony in Chinese city Guangzhou last week, in partnership with HSBC.

The world governing body's attention has since turned to collaborating with member associations to deliver AirBadminton to the masses, as well as finalising the mass production set-up and distribution of the AirShuttle.

"We have had positive feedback and interest from many stakeholders around AirBadminton," Lund said at the BWF Sudirman Cup in Nanning in China.

"The concept of implementing badminton as an outdoor sport in more areas around the world has been well received.

"It was exciting to share this new thinking with the world at our global launch and we’re delighted to receive many expressions of interest to implement the outdoor game and receive the outdoor shuttlecock.

"We’ve also had a lot of questions about the AirShuttle and the fact that it is not yet in the market.

"As we communicated during the launch, mass production of the AirShuttle is still being set up, so that will mean the AirShuttle will only be available to public in the second half of 2019.

"There is still a long way to go in the implementation of AirBadminton and to make the sport more accessible.

"But we are excited for this next phase of the project and for the AirShuttle to be ready, and we’ll continue to update the badminton community on any important developments."

London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal of India believes AirBadminton has the potential to further promote the sport and take it to different parts of the world.

"In India, we mostly get introduced to this sport as an outdoor game only," she told the Press Trust of India.

"We played it with our parents and friends outside the house. 

"This is a great initiative by BWF to bring it to the fore and promote it.

"I am sure it will encourage amateur sports persons to participate more and the game’s popularity will swell the world over."

Another Indian player, HS Prannoy, sees AirBadminton as an alternative career option for the retired domestic and international players.

"Indoor badminton is much more physically demanding, so players after retiring can keep playing AirBadminton and keep having an alternative career," he said.

"There’s a lot of money in outdoor badminton. 

"Especially in Kerala, I’ve seen players going to different places and playing every night and earning good money. 

"So it is a great initiative."

The launch of AirBadminton and AirShuttle was held outside Guangzhou's Tianhe Gymnasium and was led by BWF President and Atlanta 1996 Olympic gold medallist Poul-Erik Høyer.

Also in attendance were several Chinese badminton stars, including Athens 2004 Olympic women's doubles gold medallist Yang Wei, 2009 women’s singles world champion Lu Lan and 2010 men’s singles world champion Chen Jin.