Private Jets Could be the Real Winner at 2010 World Cup

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Overwhelming travel problems in South Africa fuel another private aviation rebound

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The World Cup is a phenomenal event unlike any other. With all the complications already reported we are taking measures to insure that we get fans to where they need to be.

Over 40% of soccer fans say they have been priced out of attending the 2010 FIFA World Cup due to spiraling costs in the weeks leading up to the finals in South Africa. The mounting costs have resulted in a 50% drop in expected foreign attendance.

The factors surrounding the dramatic decrease in foreign attendance are legion, but the primary reason often mentioned is the difficulty of travel. The exotic location of South Africa has become a burden for many travelers and those who are fortunate enough to make the long haul trip into the country could potentially be met with further difficulties.

“I’ve been planning on going to the World Cup for three years now” soccer fan, Charlie Morrison says, “but now between booking my long haul flights, and factoring in travel to each game once we get to South Africa, the trip has just become a total nightmare.”

Statements like this have become increasingly more common. What was once supposed to be the country's arrival on the international stage and a symbol of South Africa’s ability to overcome oppression has now turned into a traveler's expensive ordeal. So much so, that some are opting to stay home to avoid traveling woes. As a result of the growing concerns over travel, many viable alternatives other than commercial aviation have surfaced to ease tourists’ travel anxieties.

While many fans find themselves playing the role of their own personal travel agents, many charter services are offering their services to assure fans that they will have efficient and reliable travel during the World Cup. The world’s largest global air charter company, Air Partner, is providing transportation for over ten thousand passengers ranging from whole teams to fans. “The World Cup is a phenomenal event unlike any other. With all the complications already reported we are taking measures to insure that we get fans to where they need to be.” Says Phil Mathews, president of Air Partner, North America.

Air Partner appointed a World Cup representative in South Africa last summer and secured a preferred supplier agreement with a locally based B737 operator for the duration of the tournament. Specialist sports teams in the company’s 20 international offices, but particularly those in the UK, USA, Germany, France and Switzerland, have been organizing flights on the aircraft for groups ranging from 110 to 330.

“Enquiries and bookings related to the World Cup continue to keep our Commercial Jets, Private Jets, and 24/7 Operations divisions busy, said Mathews. “And our ServicePLUS team, which arranges bespoke in-flight services and products, is being kept busy by many clients wanting to transform their charters into unique and memorable experiences.”

Air Partner is available to speak about travel issues surrounding the 2010 World Cup. Please contact PUBLIC for interviews and images.

About Air Partner

Air Partner is a world-class provider of aviation services to industry, commerce, governments and individuals worldwide. The company has earned global recognition as a leading aircraft charter broker and organises ad hoc charters of aircraft of every size for any reason. Its core divisions comprise Air Partner Private Jets, Air Partner Commercial Jets and Air Partner Freight. Air Partner Private Jets offers on-demand charter and the company’s unique pre-paid JetCard scheme. The Commercial Jets division charters airliners with 20 to 500 seats to move groups of every size. Air Partner Freight charters aircraft of every size to fly any cargo anywhere, at any time. With its headquarters in the UK, Air Partner has 20 offices spanning Europe, North America, the Far East and Middle East and operates a 24/7 year-round Flight Support Centre from its London Gatwick base. The Group was formed in 1961, is fully listed on the London Stock Exchange, is debt free and had £14.7m in cash at the end of the half year to 31 January. Air Partner is the only company in the aviation industry to hold a Royal Warrant (as Supplier of Aircraft Charter to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II), a globally recognised mark of excellence.

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Arielle Der Hagopian
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