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Air Charter Service sees increase in sports charters after busiest year
With the complexity and size of live sports events increasing, scheduled services can't cope with huge numbers of people travelling together to the same destination. This is where ACS charters come into their own.
Group charter director Matthew Purton.
Read this story in our March 2024 printed issue.

In 2023, Air Charter Service experienced its busiest ever year in terms of charters for sports after a string of events including World Cup competitions in rugby, cricket and football.

Matthew Purton, group charter director, comments: “Every year we see a lot of activity around a number of annual sports events such as the Super Bowl, the Six Nations, the Champions League Final, the Masters and the Kentucky Derby; but this year, in addition, there were three major global tournaments, as well as the new Las Vegas Grand Prix.

“With World Cups competed in France, India, Australia and New Zealand last year, in rugby, cricket and football respectively, we did a lot of charters, including more than 100 flights to the Rugby World Cup. All of which combined to make it our busiest year for charters to sports events.

“What might have been viewed previously as smaller tournaments are now becoming busier,” Purton continues. “The complexity and size of live sporting events is constantly increasing and scheduled services simply can't cope with such a huge number of people travelling to the same destination at the same time. This is where aircraft charters come into their own.”

Purton says that this year already looks to be another busy one for the company, with a number of tournaments that may require charters, including the African Cup of Nations, Copa America, Euro 2024, Men and Women's T20 Cricket World Cups, as well as the Olympics and Paralympics.

“Our South African office has already completed a number of charters for the African Cup of Nations. With the South American Copa America tournament taking place spread across the whole of the US, it will lend itself to aircraft charters too. We took our first bookings for group stage matches at the Euros in Germany back in June and expect them to really start picking up in the coming weeks, following the draw last month and the upcoming play offs. The men's cricket T20 World Cup, also in June, is spread across the United States and the West Indies, which we think will lead to some charters, as some of the venues are 2,500 miles away from one another.”

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