British Airways is behind the largest yet airlift of football fans to a domestic game for next Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
Following a request for assistance from The Football Association, British Airways has provided nearly 1,000 extra seats on charter flights and scheduled services to Manchester from London airports.
A British Airways Boeing 747 jumbo jet will be used to transport fans - the first time an aircraft of its size has been used in connection with a British sporting event.
The match takes place at Old Trafford at 1.30pm on Sunday, April 8. The request for extra aircraft capacity followed concerns about limited train services from London to Manchester on the day.
The Arsenal Travel Club has chartered the 747 with a capacity of 376 seats plus a Boeing 757 carrying 195 fans. Both flights will leave from Stansted Airport.
British Airways has added an extra scheduled return service from Heathrow to Manchester on Sunday morning. Aircraft size on the existing three scheduled services from Heathrow and Gatwick has been increased to provide extra capacity.
Mike Street, British Airways’ Director of Operations and Customer Services, said: “We are delighted if we have been able to improve the situation for the travelling fans. It is the biggest demand we have ever had for air travel to a sporting event within the UK.”