Football fans desperate to attend the Europa and Champions League finals next week are going to extreme lengths, shelling out up to £25,000 to charter private planes.
Private jet charter operator Luxaviation UK has reported a surge in bookings for Madrid, which is hosting the Champions League final on 1 June, and Baku, Azerbaijan, where the Europa League final takes places on 29 May.
The operator said it had received more than 350 flight requests for the Spanish capital, more than double the normal number of inquiries.
The news comes after flight prices have risen steeply in response to demand, with return tickets from Madrid to London costing up to £1,300, 1,000 per cent more expensive than the average flight price.
Some fans have been looking to private aviation instead to secure a place in the host cities: chartering an eight-person private jet with Luxaviation UK from London Luton to Madrid costs around £25,000, or £3,125 per person.
“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.
“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.”
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