BA 'sorry' after tweeting support for England rugby team against Wales

28 November 2020, 16:27 | Updated: 28 November 2020, 21:35

British Airways has deleted the tweet in question after irking Welsh rugby fans
British Airways has deleted the tweet in question after irking Welsh rugby fans. Picture: PA / Twitter
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

British Airways has said sorry for upsetting Welsh rugby fans by tweeting "good luck" to the England team ahead of the two sides' clash on Saturday.

The flagship airline, which is one of the sponsors for England Rugby, chose to delete the tweet following a backlash from angry Welsh fans.

BA's social media faux pas came just hours before the two sides went head-to-head in their Autumn Nations Cup fixture in Llanelli.

The post, which was uploaded shortly after 5am on Saturday and also contained a video, read: "Good Luck to the England Rugby team against Wales today."

Many Welsh fans took to Twitter to vent their anger at the firm, branding the post "outrageous" and "disrespectful", while Labour's Chris Bryant called those behind it "utter divots".

The Rhondda MP shared a screenshot of the tweet, adding: "How is this right?"

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Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething also took to social media, saying: "Good way to annoy 3m+ potential customers."

Meanwhile the phrase "English Airways" began trending on Twitter as some Wales fans suggested the airline should consider a rebrand.

One fan tweeted: "Excuse me??? I take it you're rebranding yourselves as 'English Airways' then? WTF?"

YesCymru, the campaign for Welsh independence, tweeted: "To be clear, even when Wales becomes independent, it will still be a constituent part of the island of Britain.

"Your brand isn't 'UK Airways,' it's 'British Airways.'

"Regardless, we've had enough of this unequal, broken 'union.'"

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Welsh BBC News presenter Huw Edwards joked: "I love @easyJet."

Although BA does not fly from Wales, it does employ roughly 900 maintenance and engineering staff at three sites in south Wales.

The company has since apologised for the tweet, saying its message "strayed offside".

A statement from the airline read: "We are proud sponsors of England Rugby but on this occasion we unintentionally strayed offside, for which we are sorry."