Leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, has said that more and more football teams are turning to chartering an aircraft for critical away matches at the other end of the country and cites TV deals as a main driver.
Air Charter Service’s CEO, Justin Bowman, explains: “Rather than having their multi-million pound stars sit on cramped coaches in motorway traffic on journeys of up to six or seven hours, it makes sense for those clubs that can afford it to charter their own aircraft to away games. It has become more and more prevalent over the past few years largely due to the constantly improving TV rights deals.
“The first set of bookings usually take place just after the fixture lists are announced, as teams plan for the season ahead. Midweek cup ties are the next up, depending on how seriously certain clubs are taking their challenge that season. Champions League games almost always involve chartered aircraft, as it is really the only viable option for games anywhere in Europe. Finally, in the run up to the end of the season in May, teams in the relegation zone and clubs near the top tend to look closer at any ways at all that they can improve the team’s results.
“We have already flown more than half this season’s Premier League teams since August. But it is not only the top tier that look into this option – we also have several Championship clubs as clients, as the distances involved in some away games are the same as in the Premier League.”