Qatar is pulling out all stops – with several leisure and entertainment destinations launched in the run up to the event. According to estimates, the event is likely to attract over a million football fans from around the world who are expected to contribute US$17 bn to the Qatari economy.
Flights from neighbouring countries – including the UAE, Oman and Saudi Arabia – are expected to ferry fans from the region to the heart of the action. Dubai has already announced the launch of the first football-themed hotel on the Palm – NH Dubai The Palm – which will offer attractive hospitality packages and match tickets for football fans.
Given their proximity to Qatar, many GCC nations, including the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and KSA are gearing up to support the surge in tourism later this year. Commercial airlines have announced additional flights to keep up with the demand. Equally, private charters are also vying for a slice of the pie. In fact, private aviation has emerged as a competitive option to transport fans from anywhere in the world to the heart of the action in Qatar to cheer on their dream team with minimal delays. Charter providers have light jets and commercial aircraft charters to offer, which can accommodate small to large sized groups ranging from 20- 100 spectators to make way to the games.
Historically, private jets have ferried athletes and scores of fans to leading global sporting events. For example, the Super Bowl is touted to be the busiest weekend in the global private jet calendar. The world’s most prestigious tennis tournament – Wimbledon – attracts many guests who prefer the privacy and exclusivity of a private jet. Closer to home, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is known to draw substantial private jet traffic to the emirate as the sporting spectacle gets underway.
What makes private aviation such an attractive alternative? It’s the allure of ultimate convenience and flexibility. Even though private jet prices remain steep for most, it served as a solution to travel during the pandemic.
This has made the prospect of private aviation more real for many flyers who were once Business or First-Class travellers on commercial flights, but have now switched to private charters.
Private aviation is also a great opportunity for companies looking to entertain and impress their HNWI corporate clientele with a more exclusive experience at a big game. Guests can take advantage of faster security clearances, customs and other formalities compared to the tedious processes that come with commercial flights. They can also enjoy the perks of a dedicated terminal for private flights and the relatively short distance between the FBO and the aircraft – all huge incentives when headed to a nail-biting match.
Perhaps the biggest draw of private aviation is the exclusivity and privacy they offer, especially during a time of heightened health and safety following the pandemic. Guests can travel with a small group of people, minimising unnecessary interactions and avoiding crowded airports entirely. Many guests also appreciate the fact that they can have customised meals that meet their nutritional requirements, in addition to a tailored on-board experience. This means they don’t have to compromise on comfort and convenience even on long journeys.
Meanwhile, private charters are rapidly upgrading to accommodate requests – whether it is specialised entertainment for accompanying kids, allowances to bring pets on board or catering to specific dietary needs. So, it’s easy to see why they are incredibly popular for HNWIs who wish to travel in comfort and luxury to witness large scale sporting events.
With over a million people anticipated to head to Qatar to watch the sporting action live over 28 days, there is plenty of opportunity for regional and international charters to cash in on a captive audience looking for bespoke services.
According to the Knight Frank Wealth Report 2021, the population of global UHNWIs rose by 9.3% in 2021. The report also forecasts a 25 percent rise in Ultra-HNWIs (those with personal wealth exceeding $30 million) in the Middle East by 2025. Many of these sports fans will be dreaming of sitting in the VIP box cheering on their dream team. There’s a real opportunity here for private aviation to make this a reality for football fans.
Delta World Charter offers full charter of private jets from small groups up to 18 or commercial charter of up to 190 passengers.
Leading aircraft charter broker Delta World Charter provides tailored solutions for private jets, business flights or group tours, cargo and commercial aircraft charter, leasing, and trading. Whether it’s for entertaining private guests or business partners, planning exclusive travel or seeking a cargo air charter so that a critical delivery is made in time and within the regulatory framework, Delta World Charter can provide professional airplane charter options. The company offers bespoke solutions to fit client’s requirements and preferences – be it a low-price solution, the newest charter, the quickest alternative for an unplanned situation such as emergency retreat or repatriation flights. Headquartered in Dubai, Delta World Charter breadth of coverage and global network of aircraft gives its clients access to over 60,000 aircraft.