Luxaviation UK reported a surge in requests and bookings ahead of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League finals, more than doubling its average monthly activity from the UK to host cities Madrid and Baku.
The operator received more than 350 flight requests to Madrid for the Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool and to Baku, for the Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal.
This comes on the back of low-cost airlines and hotels significantly raising 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. With no direct flights from the UK to Baku available, private aviation became a more popular option for football fans.
The charter price of a private jet with Luxaviation UK from London Luton Airport to Madrid on a Cessna Citation Excel – suitable for up to eight passengers – was approximately £25,000, equating to approximately £3,125 per person.
Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive of Luxaviation UK said, “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.
“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.
“For the Europa League final, 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. Flying privately will get you to Baku in under six hours.”
George Galanopoulos, managing director of Luxaviation UK added, “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.”