Wednesday 22 November 2017

Fans splurge on private jets to get to Lyon for the match

Big fans: Brian Ormond and Gerald Kean flew out to France last week
Big fans: Brian Ormond and Gerald Kean flew out to France last week
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

For some lucky Irish fans, the game today is just too good an opportunity to be missed. Even if it means splashing out €3,400 for the treat.

Mach Aviation, a leading private jet company operating out of Dublin, has noted a 300pc increase in demand for private jets heading to France.

The surge occurred within hours of Robbie Brady smashing the ball into the back of the net in Ireland's 1-0 win over Italy last Wednesday.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent this weekend, Joe McCarthy, owner of Mach Aviation, said the frenzy was sparked overnight:

"It had been relatively quiet up until Ireland's win, then everyone wanted to get out there. On Thursday morning, the phones began ringing off the hook. It's been crazy. Some flew out the Friday and Saturday morning and others are flying out this morning, enjoying the day trip and coming back tonight."

Renting the private transport can cost between €20,000 and €35,000, and Mr McCarthy says that groups of friends have clubbed together to make up the cost.

"The average it is costing is €3,400 per seat on a six-seater aircraft for a day return. Groups of guys who decided they wanted to go, got together, and that's it: they are making a day of it.

"Everything has been laid on for them - drinks on board, canapes and some are opting for the full, hot three-course meal on board."

But, he explains that some well-heeled Irish fans have been left disappointed: "Availability of aircraft has been very limited as every country has travellers trying to get an aircraft at the last minute. Some telephoned to enquire about prices and called back hours later to find that the aircraft had already gone."

The demand is part of an overall increase in the enquiries for ownership and rental of private jets in the first three months of the year - in comparison to this time last year.

"We have definitely noticed business picking up for the first time since the downturn - individuals who regularly fly out on business and who find it difficult to get direct flights and need flexibility are coming to us again."

Sunday Independent

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