Why isn’t Virgin flying England to the World Cup?

Last December the press were full of the story that British Airways had supposedly declined to take the England football team to the World Cup in Brazil. The airline claimed they did not have an aircraft available for the length of time required. I imagine the FA wanted the aircraft providing for next to nothing on the basis of the wonderful publicity it would offer and BA did not feel it was worth it.

Of course, when BA do something like this, you can rely on Richard Branson to step forward. “We would be proud to fly the England squad to the World Cup”, he told the London Evening Standard.

So why will the English team be travelling to Brazil on a rather old Boeing 767 from a small foreign charter airline? It is hard to imagine the FA declining Virgin’s kind offer, especially when they are obviously having to pay the full commercial rate for the aircraft they are using.

It is easy to make brash statements, months ahead and hope no one remembers.

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