A SPANISH airline has been compelled right into a grovelling apology after claiming a no-fly zone over Lionel Messi’s residence was stopping Barcelona’s El Prat airport from rising.
Vueling president Javier Sanchez-Prieto made the astonishing declare throughout the week at a enterprise breakfast.
The airline boss reportedly mentioned the airport’s runways had been restricted “since you can’t move over the place Messi lives” earlier than including: “This doesn’t occur wherever else on the planet.”
The Barcelona-based agency, a low-cost airline primarily based at El Prat which is the second largest airline in Spain after Iberia, posted what it known as a “clarification” on Saturday though it ended with a thinly-veiled apology to the Barca ahead.
The assertion was drafted solely in Spanish regardless of the worldwide repercussions of the Vueling’s president’s claims and describing Messi not by identify however as “the footballer”.
It learn: “Vueling regrets the misunderstanding generated on Wednesday February 28 throughout the presentation of the corporate’s monetary outcomes throughout a breakfast on the Barcelona enterprise college ESADE.
“In a relaxed context, and in reply to a query from somebody who attended, who mentioned ‘Vueling is to El Prat what Messi is to Barcelona Soccer Membership’ earlier than asking for the airline’s opinion about the way forward for El Prat, Vueling replied that the airport was confronted with the problem of continuous to develop to reply to demand.
“Nonetheless that progress may encounter critical limitations due to environmental points.
FARCELONA Airline boss claims Barcelona airport can’t increase as planes can’t fly over Lionel Messi’s residence in Castelldefels
“On the finish of the intervention, persevering with with the soccer theme and in a relaxed environment with these current, it was mentioned that a part of the restrictions had been as a result of truth there was a no-fly zone over some homes, together with these of the footballer.
“We need to stress that it was by no means our intention to contain the footballer in any controversy and we will state that he has by no means made any public assertion as regards to the airport or its operation.”
Messi is a neighbour of Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez on an unique non-public property known as Bellamar in Castelldefels a 30-minute drive south of Barcelona.
New Barca signing Philippe Coutinho, who joined the Spanish membership from Liverpool in January on a £142million deal, additionally lives on the identical property.
His residence was burgled final month as he was out for dinner with household and pals.
Though Messi and his residence was talked about by the Vueling boss, it’s understood the no-fly zone truly impacts one other close by property known as Gava Mar and never the world the footballers stay in.