The private jet charter operator, Luxaviation UK, has reported a significant increase in requests and bookings, more than doubling its average monthly activity from the UK to the host cities of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League finals.
The operator received more than 350 flight requests to Madrid, for the Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, and Baku, for the Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal.
“I received a phone call within four minutes of the final whistle of Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final victory against Barcelona, which was an immediate booking for an Embraer Legacy flight to the final in Madrid,” said Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive of Luxaviation UK.
“The all-English affair has been extremely popular with our clients this year. Due to the hike in airline and hotel prices, football fans have been paying a relatively similar fee to fly privately, giving them access to all the timesaving and exclusivity benefits that a commercial airline simply cannot provide.”
Low-cost airlines and hotels significantly raised their prices for the in-demand events, with one-way flights from London to Madrid priced between £500-£750 – roughly a 1,000% fare increase – and budget hotels charging more than £1,000 per night. Furthermore, no direct flights are available from the UK to Baku, leaving football fans to search out alternative options.
“Baku is an extremely difficult destination to get to, with airlines offering no direct flights, meaning travel time takes the best part of 24 hours,” said Margetson-Rushmore. “Flying privately will get you to Baku in under six hours.”
George Galanopoulos, managing director of Luxaviation UK, said: “Major sporting events represent a significant proportion of our business activity each year. We work directly with charter brokers and clients to ensure that we have plenty of capacity to cater for requests to and from these events. We anticipate that certain events are going to be popular with our clients, like the Champions League and Europa League finals, so we ensure that a proportion of our fleet will be available.”