Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 July 2019

Etihad passengers serenaded by Welsh choir on board Abu Dhabi-London flight

Cardiff choir Cor belted out their national anthem in support of the Welsh rugby team before the Six Nations final on Sunday

Passengers on a London-bound Etihad flight were treated to a rendition of the Welsh national anthem on Sunday.

Knowing they would be in the air during the Six Nations rugby final featuring Wales against Ireland, the Cardiff choir Cor belted out the song in a display of their support.

Members of the choir contacted Etihad to check if the airline could stream the match during the journey but were told it was not possible.

"So I asked if we could maybe sing the anthem before we left, and they were so supportive in making it happen," the choir's conductor, Osian Rowlands, told The National.

"When I got on board and spoke to the team, they called the pilot to come to speak to us and he was Irish. You couldn’t make it up.

"So as we were delayed before take-off, he announced that the passengers were in for a little treat."

The choir, which also has Scottish, Irish and English members, received a roar of applause after they finished, Mr Rowlands said.

The choir had been in Abu Dhabi to perform the opera Tosca with Sir Bryn Terfel, Kristine Opolais, Vittorio Grigolo and Sinfonia Cymru at Emirates Palace hotel for the Abu Dhabi Festival,

The group used the plane’s Wi-Fi to upload the video and check on their team’s progress. They celebrated victory "somewhere over Turkey", Mr Rowlands said.

"We managed to upload it on to social media before take-off," he said.

"We were amazed that there had been more than 17,000 views by the time we landed, over 40,000 within 24 hours, and by today, there have been over 50,000."

Updated: March 20, 2019 01:29 AM

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