New UEFA Club Competition Could Be Boost For The Air Charter Industry

UEFA’s inaugural Europa Conference League could be good news for the travel industry, according to a specialist in air charter for sports teams, sponsors and supporters.



The men’s football team tournament is designed to be UEFA’s third ranked competition, following on the heels of the Champions League and Europa League.


It has already begun and features 184 teams taken from each of the 55 associations across Europe, including 46 who will transfer into the competition from either the Champions League or Europa League later in the season.


With big names such as Tottenham, a former Champions League finalist, now in action against Portuguese club Paços de Ferreira in the play-offs, the tournament’s profile is growing.


Nick Lamb, Group Sports Director at Chapman Freeborn Airchartering, believes it will see many clubs consider air charter for the first time.


He said: “What is fascinating is that this competition provides a new opportunity for clubs who have never played European football before.


“It includes several clubs from Gibraltar, Eastern European states and smaller Scandinavian leagues for instance, alongside more familiar names such as Dinamo Zagreb, Malmo, Aberdeen and Copenhagen.


“With teams spread right across the continent we expect many clubs that have never chartered before to join the market, choosing to fly players to matches on chartered aircraft because scheduled airlines may not be able to offer direct flights to many destinations.”


The continued issue of Covid-19 means that travelling by air charter provides clubs with greater confidence their players are as safe as possible from the virus.


They can be offered a private check-in, travel exclusively in their bubble and land at smaller airports closer to their destination. It’s quite possible for them to make the entire journey without mixing with the public.


“That’s a hugely important issue for all clubs, and especially for giants such as Tottenham, Roma, Union Berlin and Rennes who join the competition at the play-off stage this season,” said Nick.


“There will also be supporters and corporate fans looking to travel the same way, and for the same reasons. And after so long without travel, who wouldn’t fancy a football trip to see your favourite team compete to be the first ever winner of a new tournament?”


The UEFA Europa Conference League begins with three qualifying rounds (which started as early as mid-July) and ends with a final in Tirana on 25 May, 2022, with games played on a Thursday.


Clubs are advised to consider their travel plans as early as possible.


Key dates to look out for:
Group stage: 16 September to 9 December

Play-offs for knockout round: 17 and 24 February

Last 16: 10 and 17 March

Quarter-finals: 7 and 14 April

Semi-finals: 28 April and 5 May

Final: 25 May, Tirana


For more information visit www.chapmanfreeborn.aero