BA apologises as England rugby support sparks complaints from Wales fans

British Airways has apologised after upsetting Welsh rugby fans by wishing England luck in this weekend’s fixture between the two sides.

The airline, which has a sponsorship arrangement with England Rugby, sent luck to England via Twitter on Saturday morning ahead of their Autumn Nations Cup fixture against Wales in Llanelli later in the day.

The tweet, which was subsequently deleted, read: “Good Luck to the England Rugby team against Wales today.”

The message, which also contained a short video, irked many Wales fans, who voiced their displeasure on social media.

Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething tweeted: “Good way to annoy 3m+ potential customers.”

Labour MP Chris Bryant described the airline as “utter divots” and added: “How is this right?”

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

Meanwhile the phrase “English Airways” trended on Twitter as some Wales fans suggested the airline should 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.'”

England team on a BA plane
British Airways has a sponsorship deal with England Rugby and flew the team to the World Cup in Japan last year (Steve Parsons/PA)

BA, which is the official airline partner of England Rugby, apologised for having “strayed offside” with the message.

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.”

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