A special British Airways flight takes off today (Monday) carrying England`s bid to host the World Cup in 2006 to FIFA`s headquarters in Zurich.
A top level delegation led by the Prime Minister`s special envoy Tony Banks MP, Liverpool and England star Michael Owen, Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Geoff Hurst, 2006 Campaign Director Alec McGivan, and a group of children will carry the bid on a dedicated British Airways Boeing 777 with the message “Bringing Football Home” emblazoned on the aircraft fuselage.
Alec McGivan said: “Our bid is internationalist and outward looking. We have a strong emotional case as the home of football, but we see this bid as renewing our commitment to the future of football.
“We are dedicating our World Cup bid to young people which was why we felt it right that we should have these children with us to escort our bid to Zurich.”
Lord Marshall, Chairman of British Airways, said: “We`re proud to be flying high with the World Cup bid. The tournament in 2006 promises to create a spectacular global showcase for the very best of 21st century Britain.”
The flight BA9206C departs from British Airways` maintenance base at Hatton Cross, Heathrow at 1.05pm local time. It is expected to arrive in Zurich at 4.55pm local time. The delegation will then formally present England`s bid to stage the
2006 World Cup to FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Airline captains Terry Buckland and John Lindsay are operating the 90 minute flight. The return flight - BA9207C departs Zurich at 9.15pm local time, arriving at Heathrow`s Terminal One at 9.35pm.