As the World Cup draws to a close this weekend, leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, sees months of work arranging charters around Brazil, that were planned as far back as last year, drawing to a close as well.
“Logistically this World Cup has presented more challenges than any of the previous ones we have had to deal with”, says Justin Bowman, ACS CEO
. “One of the main problems we faced was the fact that the authorities didn't allow companies like us to bring in aircraft from outside of Brazil to meet the internal demand, even though there was insufficient capacity.”
Bowman continues: “With such a large nation and huge distances between various grounds and teams’ bases, chartering an aircraft has, more often than not, been the only sensible way of making the journeys.”
The first bookings started coming through following the announcement of the group stages back in December last year, but final preparations were only confirmed after securing airport slots - which were only released last month - ahead of the big kick-off. “We have booked more than 120 flights so far for teams, their friends and families, sponsors, fans and the media taking them to and around Brazil. We have even done several cargo flights to aid the infrastructure in the run up to the tournament.”
“Before the tournament we could only fully plan as far as the end of the group stage. Then, in the last few days of that phase, we were actively plotting, ‘what does that mean?’, ‘where is the team going to be going next?’ And so on. Until we knew how the teams did, we couldn't really do anything other than be ready. And it has been like that as the teams have been gradually whittled down to just Germany and Argentina now.”
Bowman says that the football charters don’t finish after Sunday evening’s final: “we are already booking charters for the qualifying stages of Euro 2016 in France, as well as many teams’ travel for the upcoming English Premier League season”.