Marcel, who are the people travelling to the tournament on charter flights?
There are many different people: Some are fan groups, but also guests invited by sponsors, representatives from various organisations and press. Therefore, every charter flight comes with its own sets of conditions.
What are your experiences with fan groups?
One great football fan project involves several charter flights for an Australian tour operator. A total of 1,700 guests are travelling to their teams group matches. For three days, there will be various charter flights from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to Cuiaba. There, Australia is going to play Chile. The first three flights to Porto Alegre are taking off right after the match. Three more will follow the next morning. In terms of planning, this many guests in a single group are an exciting challenge.
Are all fan groups this big?
1,700 guests are an exception at this tournament. However, given the long distances in Brazil, charter flights really start to make sense with groups of at least 80 people, if the primary concern is a low price per seat. For groups this size, there are aircraft available which can handle the long distances in Brazil efficiently. Usually, my colleagues book smaller groups more economically on Brazilian domestic scheduled flights. Except when it comes to small, exclusive groups with special needs.
Small groups with special needs? Do you have an example?
22 guests to the final. Now, you have to know that traffic in big cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro can be very challenging. So for this group, we prepared a very comfortable, customised flight programme. A private jet to Sao Paulo with helicopter transfer to the hotel in the city centre. The same for the way back and once again in Rio.
Is it possible to just travel by helicopter in Sao Paulo?
You will see more helicopters in the big Brazilian cities than you would in Europe. Our Sao Paulo office has a lot of experience with these exclusive transfers. And it still was not easy in this case. The group wanted to travel into the city at night. But only double-engine helicopters are permitted to fly in the dark. The search took some effort. But in the end we managed to secure a suitable solution for our client.
Do all groups travel to the matches from Sao Paulo and Rio?
Many groups are based in one of these two big cities. They fly out to the matches and then return right after the match. Organisations and the media are the exception. They usually look for hotels close to their teams accommodations. For our German customers, we offer many charter flights to and from Porto Seguro.
Or another example: A sponsor who did not want to go to a metropolis. They were looking for some Brazilian beach fun. So their guests reside in Cabo Frio and fly to select games from there.
Thank you, Marcel, for these insights into the flight planning for the football festival in Brazil.