England football team will not fly with British Airways to World Cup in Brazil
LONDON, England - The England football team will not use British Airways to travel to next year's World Cup in Brazil after talks broke down between the airline and the Football Association.
LONDON, England – The England football team will not use British Airways to travel to next year’s World Cup in Brazil after talks broke down between the airline and the Football Association.
BA is said to have pulled out of negotiations over the £10million cost of transporting the players, coaches and entourage to the tournament.
However, the national flagship carrier insists that it simply cannot spare a plane for the team during the peak summer season.
The FA and BA, which has flown the England team to previous World Cups, were in talks for a year about the possibility of working together, according to The Sun.
But an airline source told the paper that it was too expensive to take the team – set to include stars such as Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott – to Brazil.
‘It would cost up to £10million to take a plane out of service, dedicate it to England, tear up the timetable and dedicate crews for the duration of the tournament,’ the source said.
‘In return BA gets no more than a photo of the back of a plane in a few newspapers. In brutal terms it just doesn’t make sense.’
British Airways flew the England team to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but for the latest tournament, held in South Africa, players used Virgin Atlantic.
The airline said in a statement that it did not have the capacity to take Roy Hodgson’s team to Brazil next year.
‘We have not refused to carry the England team,’ a spokesman said.
‘Regrettably, we could not reach agreement with the FA because we will not have a spare aircraft available for the length of time the FA wanted during the busy summer period next year.
‘This was not a question of a single flight or a simple return. We wish the team the best of luck and look forward to flying thousands of fans to the World Cup.’
The team will be based in Rio de Janeiro, but will have to take internal flights within the country to reach the distant venues where their games are being held.
England’s first match is against Italy in Manaus on June 14, with the team’s other two group games taking place in Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte.