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Top-flight footballers take off

A national football team was playing in Quito, Ecuador, and seven of the players needed to fly back to their respective clubs in Paris and Barcelona for matches the following day. To ensure they arrived well-rested, a private aircraft with a fully-flat bed seat for each player was a must. To add to the complexity of the flight, Quito airport is 2,400 metres above sea level, meaning aircraft are unable to take off with the weight of full fuel tanks.


Route: Quito – Fort-de-France, Martinique – Paris – Barcelona

Aircraft: Bombardier Global Express

Since only a heavy jet could provide seven flat beds, an account manager in Paris began researching those with the best high-altitude take-off capability in order to minimise the number of fuel stops required. Three aircraft were shortlisted and after discussing the options, the team manager chose the Bombardier Global Express.

A few calculations by the operator then showed that a quick fuel stop in Martinique would get them all the way to Paris to drop off the first five players. The other two could then stretch their legs while the plane refuelled for the final short hop to Barcelona.

The footballers arrived home refreshed and ready to play again the following day, beating their national team mates by a full six hours.


Flight representation: To make sure the trip was running on time and to plan, we arranged for a rep to meet the flight at Paris Le Bourget and oversee the refuelling process.

Splitting the bill: As the players came from two different football clubs, our finance team arranged for the bill to be split accordingly.

The extra mile: Since timing was critical, the ACS account manager stayed in close contact with the team manager throughout the journey. From the moment the players left the stadium in Quito to the minute they touched down in Barcelona, he was kept up to date on their progress.

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