Private jet companies in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have seen a surge in demand for their services as the FIFA 2022 World Cup draws near.
Qatar has estimated a World Cup-attending crowd of over 3.2 million from November to December 2022 when the 23rd edition of the global showpiece will take place.
Tourists are already making plans on how to attend the one-of-a-kind global showpiece which will be held in the gulf nation of Qatar and private jet companies have reported an increase in demand for their services to that effect.
Private jet companies across the UAE and Qatar are seen a surge in bookings for daily trips to Qatar for the World Cup due to rising commercial flight prices to the host nation.
Jetex, a private jet company based in Dubai that hires out its jets at $10,000 per hour, said it began receiving enquiries in November about their private jet services.
“We have started seeing a lot of enquiries,” said Jetex founder and CEO Adel Mardini. “I can assure you a lot of people will be flying (via private jet) from Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the day.
“You can only imagine the demand. There has been something like 17 million queries for football tickets, with only two million available. This is insane, we are talking about nine months before the World Cup,” Mardini said.
Jetex usually caters to politicians, celebrities and business executives but following the surging demand by fans who want to witness the one-of-a-kind World Cup in Qatar, the company is now in talks with the aviation authorities in the host nation to secure daily landing spots at various terminals throughout November and December.
They also plan to have at least three 15 seater private jets available for daily return trips from Qatar to UAE where they are headquartered.
“We are working with partners, and we are planning to make an announcement soon,” said Mardini. “It will be a ten-hour round trip. They will get picked up in Dubai, taken to Doha for the match and hospitality then return to Dubai.”
Kevin Singh, president of Icarus Jet, another Dubai-based private jet company, noted that his company typically provides ten charters a month but demand has soared since the onset of COVID-19.
He also said that this factor will lead to an increase in charters as the World Cup will be held in pandemic times.
“Most sports events like the World Cup, the Super Bowl, and tennis matches draw some of the highest concentration of private jets. It will be a busy time,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, Qatar is facing an accommodation crisis with the visitors as they currently have only 130,000 available rules provided by hotels, cruise liners and desert campsites set up for the touring fans.
The private jet companies could provide another solution for the teeming crowd who want to attend the World Cup as their daily charters could help ease the load of the local organising committee.
A flight from Dubai or Abu Dhabi takes a little over an hour. It is the same with nations in the gulf and this could provide a solution for tourists who want to witness the World Cup.
The ticket prices via regular airline travel could also aid the cause of the private jet companies. At the time of writing, Qatar Airways flights from Dubai to Doha for Sunday, November 20 are currently priced at $1,700 (AED6,150) for a one-way ticket.
Jetex boss Mardini noted that people who want to travel to the World Cup in first-class or business-class could pool together for a private charter which would “actually be a very good priced alternative”.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, 2022.