Routes does Euro 2016 | Aviation Week Network (2024)


To coincide with this year’s Euro 2016 football tournament in France between June 10 and July 10, Routesonline is producing a special ‘Routes does Euro 2016’ blog and putting an air service development spin on this summer’s high-profile tournament.

Working in partnership with John Grant at JG Aviation Consultants and using data from intelligence provider OAG we will be offering our own views on who would win each group and then the ‘Round of 16’, ‘Quarter Final’, ‘Semi Final’ and ‘Final’ ties based on different air service criteria.

The real head-to-head analysis will kick-off when the knock-out stages begin, but here is our initial take on the countries taking part and their aviation credentials. You can view all of our blog posts from the tournament on our special landing page - Routes does Euro 2016.


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LOOK OUT FOR DAILY UPDATES of this story throughout the tournament - make sure you bookmark this page!

The ‘Round of 16’ – our expert route development view

Friday 24th June

The first stage of this year’s Euro 2016 tournament is now complete and after a break of a couple of days, we reconvene on Saturday with the start of the knock-out stage. The expanded schedule of this year’s tournament mean that despite 36 matches completed, we have only lost a third of the nations as we have dropped from 26 to 16 countries.

It is goodbye to Albania, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine, the latter gaining the wooden spoon for the worst record following losses to Germany, Northern Ireland and Poland.

We will be producing our own route development analysis of every match until the end of the tournament and the first of the ‘Round of 16’ ties will be online at the end of this week in our special ‘Routes does Euro 2016’ landing page.

Ahead of the start of the knock-out stages we thought it would be interesting to see the outcome of the eight ties if we looked at the number of new international destinations being served from the countries during the current summer schedule, versus the same period in 2015. According to data from intelligence provider, OAG, this would be the outcome…

Switzerland 14 v 30 Poland
Croatia 19 v 32 Portugal
Wales 7 v 7 Northern Ireland
Hungary 12 v 17 Belgium
Germany 39 v 11 Slovakia
Italy 43 v 35 Spain
France 18 v 20 Republic of Ireland
England 22 v 17 Iceland

This would result in a Quarter Final line-up of Poland, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Republic of Ireland and England and in a real shock would see the Republic of Ireland edge out the host nation of France. Two of the surprises of the tournament – Wales and Northern Ireland - would have to be separated by penalties. But will real life actually mirror our aviation prediction? We will find out on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The big Brexit vote takes the headlines around Europe

Thursday 23rd June

As the Euro 2016 championships take a back seat for a couple of days between the group and knock-out stages, another major European topic is dominating the headlines as UK voters head to the polls today to decide whether to remain inside or leave the European Union. Airlines currently flying in the country are bracing themselves for the potential impact of a Brexit vote and what it will mean to the current traffic rights to serve the country.

The European aviation landscape has changes significantly since liberalisation fuelled the arrival of a new breed of low-cost airlines. These have matured now into low-fare and hybrid operators that continue to challenge the legacy operators, which continue to attempt to evolve their own models to better compete.

The formation of pan-European networks by the likes of easyJet, Norwegian, Ryanair, Vueling and Wizz Air was only possible within the European Union single market thanks to the freedom that membership provides to operate without restrictions between, and within, other EU member states.

Although a Brexit vote will not eliminate the UK entirely from the European network map and it would still be part of the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) as an independent country like Iceland and Norway, it will provide some uncertainty as lengthy negotiations take place, with no guarantee of a positive outcome.

For a UK carrier like easyJet we could see operations being increasingly moved to its Switzerland operation or even the formation of another business in a European Union member country. For a foreign carrier such as Ryanair that has significant operations in the UK it could mean the need to secure a UK Air Operators Certificate to fly freely from the country to points across Europe.

Earlier this year we spoke to Jeremy Robinson, a Partner at Watson Farley & Williams, a law firm whose specialities include transport and energy, and he suggested what impact a Brexit would have on the industry’s development. You can read the story here: UK Brexit: Could this be the end of low-cost fares in the UK?

Icelandair shows the 'little' carrier can succeed with the right strategy

Wednesday 22nd June

The relationship between one of the tournament's surprise qualifiers and their national carrier dates back exactly 70 years. Iceland may only have a population of 330,000 and are the smallest country to qualify for a European Championship or World Cup, but they certainly have a growing stature, much like national carrier Icelandair, which has significantly grown its European and North American operations over the past couple of years.

Routes does Euro 2016 | Aviation Week Network (1)

The airline's relationship with the nation's football team dates back to a journey from Reykjavik to Scotland in 1946.

Iceland will be seeking to extend their stay in the Euros as they take on Austria tonight in Paris knowing that a third draw would be enough for them qualify for the ‘Round of 16’ as one of the four 3rd place qualifiers.

Icelandair has proved it can compete with much larger foreign rivals in the competitive transatlantic market through its hub model, perhaps its national team will replicate this success?

Croatia surprises the reigning European Champions

Tuesday 21st June

Croatia may be a relatively new nation, but it has already developed a strong pedigree in international football. The country reached the Quarter Finals of Euro 1996 and Euro 2008 and finished third at the 1998 World Cup, when it was also hosted in France, beating Germany in their progress to the Semi Finals.

It has become a regional leader across the Balkans and former Yugoslavia in football terms and now its national carrier, Croatia Airlines, is planning to evolve into a similar role with new foreign bases set to be established in Sarajevo, Skopje, Pristina and Tirana, according to reports.

The Star Alliance member is planning to add between four and six additional short-haul airliners to its fleet and become a regional leader. "The plan is to maintain our strong position in the region through the opening of new bases, for which we need to acquire new aircraft. We are currently negotiating and are in the process of wide-scale planning," said the carrier’s chief executive officer, Krešimir Kučko.

The plan is to link the relatively underserved markets of Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje and Tirana with points across the European Union, although the strong presence of Air Serbia in Belgrade means the Serbian capital will not be part of its regional strategy.

“A base in Belgrade is not an option for us,” said Kučko. “Wherever a national carrier is present, our plans would be difficult to fulfil."

It is hoped the new strategy will help Croatia Airlines overcome seasonal traffic trends in its home market. It traditionally struggles during the first and final quarters of the calendar year, but balances losses with a strong performance during the second and third quarters when there is an uplift in inbound traffic to Croatia.

The airline is understood to still be in the process of an internal study on its future regional network and will start to reveal its plans towards the end of the year when it is formalised, with a planned launch date of April 1, 2017. The expanded fleet is likely to see the addition of additional regional aircraft, most likely in the 100-seat class.

Romania may be eliminated, but Sibiu pushes on for new connectivity

Monday 20th June

Romania became the first nation to be eliminated from Euro 2016 last night after losing their final Group A match to Albania. The Eastern European country had previously lost to host nation France in the opening match of the tournament, drawing with Switzerland in their other match.

The departure of Romania will be a disappointment to the management team at Sibiu International Airport, who teamed up with local football team FC Hermannstadt to promote its connectivity and presence in the tournament.

Routes does Euro 2016 | Aviation Week Network (2)

The small Sibiu International Airport, which serves the historic central Romanian city of Sibiu in southern Transylvania, has seen year-on-year traffic growth in eight of the last ten years but still only handled just over 275,000 passengers last year. It has ambitious plans to grow to the one million passenger threshold over the next couple of years, buoyed by the launch of a Wizz Air aircraft base.

The airport currently has hub links to Munich (served by Lufthansa and Tarom) and Vienna with Austrian Airlines, while low-fare carrier Blue Air offers links to Cologne Bonn and Stuttgart.

Wizz Air first introduced flights to Sibiu in June 2014. The city is one of the most important cultural centres of Romania. It currently serves Sibiu from Dortmund and London Luton, but the arrival of the based aircraft will enable new routes to be added from mid-August 2016 to Nuremburg (three times weekly), Memmingen (twice weekly), Bergamo (twice weekly) and Madrid (twice weekly). It will also boost its schedule to London Luton to five weekly flights.

The low-cost carrier flew more than 4.5 million people through Romanian airports in 2015 compared with 3.9 million in 2014. It this year celebrates ten years of serving the country and its share of international capacity is forecasted to rise to 36.2 per cent in 2016.

For Sibiu the new Wizz Air routes are just the start of an ambitious growth plan that it hopes will deliver new routes to major European centres including further hub destinations like Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris, according to Bogdan Avram, marketing and business development manager at Sibiu International Airport.

The French capital, Paris, is the Sibiu community’s top preference in terms of tourism/city-break and university exchanges with the number of Romanian residents in the city vicinity having grown to more than 200,000. Barcelona and Rome both have consistent ethnic traffic flows due to the large Romanian settlements in the destinations, while Brussels has great potential for both inbound/outbound tourism and ethnic traffic.

Amsterdam is also among the top designated hubs wanted by the Sibiu community. According to 2014 data from The Romanian National Institute of Statistics, Netherlands is the third largest foreign investor in the region after Germany and Austria.

With is existing flights into Munich, Germany is an important market and Avram identifies both Frankfurt and Hamburg as destinations on its target list. Frankfurt will create a new hub option creating numerous new connection options into North America, Canada, Asia and the Caribbean and is currently the largest indirect market from Sibiu, citing data from the ‘My Airport Passengers’ dashboard from route development consultancy, Airport Strategy & Marketing (ASM).

The ASM ‘My Airport Passengers’ Data Dashboard helps smaller airports to understand their traffic demand. The Excel-based application use Sabre Global Demand data to report the origin and destination of routes in terms of passenger traffic and fares, and allows comparisons with competitor airports.

Avram identifies that strong economic ties between Sibiu and Northern Germany, together with considerable ethnic traffic and great potential for both inbound/outbound tourism, make Hamburg an attractive market.

Turkish Airlines highlights its service offering

Friday 17th June

We highlighted before the start of Euro 2016 that as the official airline partner for Euro 2016, we could expect to see the Turkish Airlines logo and branding on display throughout the tournament. Those watching the tournament on television would have seen the many adverts produced by the fast-expanding carrier. Here’s a video showing them all. Which is your own personal favourite?

Kazakhstan takes European qualifying to the extreme

Thursday 16th June

Watching some of the tournament’s matches in Almaty and Astana during a visit to Kazakhstan this week reminds us that the world’s ninth largest country is actually part of the European Championships, but failed to qualify for the finals in France.

The nation is ranked 48th by UEFA ahead of Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Malta, Andorra, San Marino and Gibraltar and appeared in probably the most significant Group in the qualifying stages – the one that saw Netherlands eliminated due to the rise of Czech Republic, Turkey and Iceland.

Routes does Euro 2016 | Aviation Week Network (3)

Despite the long journey into Kazakhstan, the nation was unable to upset the form book, although it did end the qualifying process above the higher-ranked Latvia, after winning and drawing its matches against the Baltic State.

The football federation of Kazakhstan split from the Soviet Union national football team after independence in 1991 and joined the Asian Football Confederation's Central Asian Football Federation. After failing to qualify for the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cup they joined UEFA.

The country’s 2018 World Cup qualifying will pitch the nation up against Armenia, Denmark, Montenegro, Poland and Romania.

Look out for our stories on Air Astana and Kazakhstan on Routesonline and in a forthcoming issue of Routes News.

Liverpool Airport’s air service development team highlight football abilities

Tuesday 14th June

There is a huge football heritage in the city of Liverpool as has been highlighted by the presence of the European Cup at the last two Routes Europe forums in Aberdeen, Scotland and Kraków, Poland.

The city’s Liverpool John Lennon Airport is placing its own backing behind the home nations with special messages of support on its information screens, while it is also allowing supporters to take part in their own friendly tournaments with a table football game set up in the departure lounge.

The airport’s air service development manager, Paul Winfield and account manager, Ashley Morgan couldn’t resist a quick game for Routesonline, although we are not sure ‘friendly’ came into the equation for their match.

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The airport has had a strong start to 2016 handling almost 1.9 million passengers in the January to May period; over 250,000 more than during the first five months of 2015. Latest figures for May show a ten percent rise compared to last year.

As well as the impact of a number of new services from existing airlines which started earlier in the year, May also saw Flybe’s weekly departure to Newquay commence and the start of the Thomson Airways’ summer 2016 weekly flight to Palma with passengers departing on holidays to Majorca with Thomson and First Choice for the first time in eight years. In addition, 14 extra flights chartered to take Liverpool FC fans over to Basel for the Europa League Final added to the growing numbers of Airport users.

June has already started strongly with the launch of a new regular flight to Cluj at the start of this month, Blue Air’s third link between Liverpool and Romania. Cluj is Romania’s second largest city and with one of the most vibrant economies in Romania and a population of around 330,000, Cluj is, today, a vibrant cultural and educational city. It is also considered to be the unofficial capital to the historical province of Transylvania with links to the fictional character Count Dracula.

Blue Air is offering a twice weekly link and follows the successful introduction of services to Bucharest and Bacau, having first operated from Liverpool in December 2014. For the coming winter season, Blue Air will also operate a fourth weekly service to Bucharest, while Bacau will also operate though the winter schedule.

Routes does Euro 2016 | Aviation Week Network (5)

Valencia Tourism backs Spain for Euros hat-trick

Monday 13th June

Taking a short break from his role promoting the year-round charm of Valencia, Miguel Angel Pérez, sales promotion director, Valencia Tourism, sent Routesonline this image during today's match between European Championship holders Spain and the Czech Republic.

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Although Spain took over 85 minutes to break the deadlock and secure a 1-0 win, the winners of the last two European Championships will be hoping to again dominate at this year's tournament in France.

Pérez acknowledged that Spain found it difficult to break down the Czech team today, but is confident of his nation's chances. "I think Spain will have a good Championship. They played good football today and will hopefully continue their recent success," he said.

Valencia Tourism has had its own recent success. The announcement during this year’s Routes Europe forum in Kraków, Poland that budget carrier Ryanair is to grow its winter offering from the Spanish city was a great advert for the destination’s strong marketing campaign to highlight its year-round potential.

Valencia, the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, believes it is an ideal year-round destination for the world’s airlines and regularly takes a presence at leading aviation and tourism events such as Routes Europe to highlight what it has to offer. And it appears that a story of over 300 days of sunshine a year is being understood by the world’s airlines.

“We are really focussing our efforts on selling Valencia as a year-round destination. It is a perfect destination for the world’s airlines who can allocate their aircraft resources into the market safe in the knowledge we have strong summer and winter demand,” said Pérez.

Northern Ireland airport changes its name for a day!

Sunday 12th June

George Best Belfast City Airport has again displayed its support for Northern Ireland at the Euros by changing its name for the day in honour of the team’s star striker.
For one day only (Sunday, 12th June), the airport has become the Kyle Lafferty Belfast City Airport in a historic move ahead of Michael O’Neill’s men kicking off their Euro 2016 campaign against Poland in Nice this evening.

Signage at the City Airport’s terminal roof and at the entrance has been changed to honour the star striker, while the branding on the airport’s website and digital platforms has also been amended.

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"The excitement surrounding the Euros has been palpable around the airport since we gave the team that eye-catching green and white water canon salute as they departed," said a spokesperson.

"The City Airport is very much part of the fabric of the community and by renaming the airport for the day we are joining members of the Green and White Army at home and in France in sending a huge message of support to Kyle and his team-mates for the Euros.

“We also wanted to show our support for our airline partner Flybe, which is laying on special charters for Northern Ireland fans travelling to France for the matches."

Who knows – we may see other major airports across Europe following suit and renaming in honour of one of their own footballing stars?

Dublin connectivity helps Ireland football fans

Saturday 11th June

An estimated 30,000 Irish soccer fans will travel from Dublin Airport to the Euro 2016 finals over the next two weeks, the Republic of Ireland hub has forecasted, including a significant number of fans from Northern Ireland.

A total of 106 flights are due to carry fans to Ireland’s three Group E games against Sweden, Belgium and Italy. Airlines have added 39 extra flights to the normal schedule to Paris, Lille and Bordeaux to help cope with the increase in demand from fans.

Many fans are also expected to travel on flights to other destinations in France and Belgium and then continue their journey to the three match venues. In total, Dublin Airport has more than 150 departures to France per week this summer season.

Over this weekend alone, 64 flights, including 13 extra services, are scheduled to bring fans to Paris in time for the Republic of Ireland’s first game against Sweden at the Stade de France on Monday.

Another 21 flights, including 18 extra services, will operate from Dublin to Bordeaux ahead of Ireland’s second match, which is against Belgium on Saturday June 18. And 20 flights, including eight additional services, will depart to Lille and airports nearby in the run-up to Ireland’s final group game against Italy on Wednesday June 22.

Dublin Airport will also welcome a significant number of Northern Ireland soccer fans over the next two weeks, as they travel to games in Nice, Lyon, and Paris. Northern Ireland play in Group C with matches against Poland, Ukraine and Germany.

Ryanair ‘strikes’ out at France’s tournament progress

Friday 10th June

Irish budget carrier Ryanair is never one to miss an opportunity to promote its own marketing initiatives and on day one of Euro 2016 has already taken a swipe against the host nation’s propensity for industrial action.

Earlier this year it very cleverly ran an April Fool’s Day story to support its Keep Europe’s Skies Open petition to prevent passengers flights and holidays being delayed or cancelled when Air Traffic Control (ATC) unions in France go on strike. "French Air Traffic Controllers have promised never to go on strike again or ruin any more holidays #AprilFools," it said in a tweet.

Ahead of tonight’s Euro 2016 opener between France and Romania, the airline launched its own #RyanairEuros campaign, including the following tweet placing its full support behind Romania.

Routes does Euro 2016 | Aviation Week Network (8)

Maintaining the 'strike' theme, it was actually a late wonder strike from France's Dimitri Payet that provided victory for the home nation for a 2-1 win.

Ryanair has revealed that its May 2016 traffic grew by 12 percent to 10.6 million customers, while its load factor jumped two percentage points to 94 percent bringing its rolling annual traffic to 108.5 million passengers, a rise of 16 pecent. In a further knock against French industrial action it said: "These record monthly numbers and load factors were delivered, at lower fares, despite the ongoing disruptions being caused by ATC strikes in France."

Routes does Euro 2016 | Aviation Week Network (9)

Can Romania upset the host nation in Euros opener?

Friday 10th June

Euro 2016 kicks-off tonight with the opening match France and Romania. Not many believe the Eastern European country will stand much chance against the host nation. In our Group A preview John Grant, director, JG Aviation Consultants, described the group as being a “Sunday afternoon stroll down the Champs Elysee for the French team, at least from an aviation perspective.

Routesonline spoke to Bogdan Avram, marketing and business development manager at Sibiu International Airport to learn more about Romania’s international aviation sector.

“Strong demand for air travel amid low fuel prices and a relatively stable economy, resulted in passenger numbers across Romania airports to increase by almost 13 percent in 2015 with a further consistent growth expected in 2016," said Avram, citing data from the ‘My Airport Passengers’ dashboard from route development consultancy, Airport Strategy & Marketing (ASM).

The ASM ‘My Airport Passengers’ Data Dashboard helps smaller airports to understand their traffic demand. The Excel-based application use Sabre Global Demand data to report the origin and destination of routes in terms of passenger traffic and fares, and allows comparisons with competitor airports.

According to the airport executive, the expansion of airlines in the region has lead traffic to grow mainly to destinations considered traditional for the Romanian market: Italy, Spain and United Kingdom, which have seen increasing frequencies from all Romanian airports thanks to low-cost companies.

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The ASM data analysis of O&D traffic for 2015 shows London is the largest city market with almost 1,400,000 two-way passengers, followed by Milan (750,000), Rome (660,000) and Paris (520,000). Surprisingly, according to Avram, Brussels has overtaken the Spanish capital, Madrid to the fifth place position with almost 460,000 annual passengers, ahead of the 435,000 to/from Madrid.

Italy remains the largest source market for passengers in and out of Romania with annual traffic of around 2.6 million. This is ahead of the UK (1.5 million) and Spain (1.2 million), although Avram identifies that the UK numbers will grow in 2016 due to enhanced connectivity with regional destinations.

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“For the UK almost all direct passengers flew to London while just 100,000 passengers choosing other airports in the country. This situation is likely to change in 2016 due to new direct connections from Romania to the UK (Birmingham, Doncaster-Sheffield, Liverpool or Glasgow) flown mainly by Wizz Air or Blue Air,” said Avram.

Looking at the average fare paid by travellers to and from Romanian airports, the data shows that the average fare price paid on direct routes is between $100 and $200 dollars, higher in the summer months and higher for some regional Romanian airports with limited airline connections.

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There is a clear positive growth in Romania buoyed by low-cost airlines, but what does Avram believe the future holds for the country’s aviation sector?

“In the near future, I expect a growth to Switzerland where the labour conditions for Romanians are becoming easier, thus becoming an attractive destination for those in search of a new life. Also, I believe the numbers to the Scandinavian Peninsula are likely to grow as more and more Romanians tend to migrate from Spain and Italy to better life conditions,” he said.

Belfast City shows its backing for Northern Ireland's 'green and white army'

Thursday 9th June

Our friends at George Best Belfast City Airport have joined the #RoutesEuros fun and highlighted their backing for Northern Ireland's green and white army at Euro 2016. With the country's most famous footballer in its name, it is no surprise to learn some of the senior team at the Belfast airport are also heading across to France to support the nation.

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It was all green and white as the Northern Ireland team departed the country from Belfast City on May 30, 2016. They even received a green and white water salute from the airport fire service and flew on a green and white aircraft, albeit flying with Germania from Germany, one of its Group C rivals.

It is Northern Ireland's first ever appearance in the European Championships and they are sure to be well supported in France, many travellers taking advantage of the airport's new network link from KLM into Amsterdam which offers onward connectivity across Europe and the rest of the world.

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Interestingly an airport official confirms that after the direct Belfast City - Amsterdam point-to-point flows, the most popular and best-selling indirect markets from the airport between November 2015 and April 2016 were all to France - Nice, Lyon, Paris and Bordeaux. With this strong support from the Northern Ireland public for its national carrier, Belfast City Airport is even calling on the Dutch public to get behind one of the tournament's underdogs.

"The Netherlands didn’t make the Euros this year so perhaps we could see some of the many football-loving Dutch public ‘supporting’ Northern Ireland instead," an official told Routesonline.

Flag carriers fly with support for national teams

Wednesday 8th June

After its debut in Germany’s successful World Cup campaign in Brazil in 2014, national carrier Lufthansa has once again introduced ‘Fanhansa’ for Euro 2016. Two years ago Lufthansa traded its name for ‘Fanhansa’ on the fuselage of part of the fleet for a limited time during the World Cup.

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The climax of the campaign was its ‘Fanhansa Siegerflieger’ which flew the newly-crowned world champions back from Rio de Janeiro to Berlin and this The Boeing 747-8I will continue to fly with the airline through to the next World Cup in Russia in 2018. The return of ‘Fanhansa’ appears a reduced affair for the Euros and initially has seen a 737-300 appear in a special livery containing the names of around 300 fans and which was used to transport the national team from Frankfurt to Chambery this week.

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Routes does Euro 2016 | Aviation Week Network (17)

The Belgium national team also took to their national carrier to transfer to their French tournament base, flying on Brussels Airlines’ recently introduced ‘Red Devils’ Airbus A320. The airline is the official partner of the Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA) and recently extended its contract which entails that the Belgian national football team flies exclusively with Brussels Airlines, until 2020.

You can find out more about 'Trident' the A320 in this video from Brussels Airlines...

Charter providers prepare for Euro 2016 flight call

Tuesday 7th June

When scheduled airlines can’t meet your schedule and money is not a problem then fans can turn to private aircraft. Aircraft charter provider, Air Charter Service (ACS) tells Routesonline that is preparing for an extremely busy period and the fruition of months of work, having already booked more than 20 aircraft to fly to the championships. The company says it has been busy with enquiries since the end of last year and started booking aircraft straight after the group draw in Paris in December 2015.

“Tournament business, whether it be a Euro Championship or a World Cup, always starts in earnest in the December straight after the group draw is made,” explains Matt Purton, group commercial director, ACS.

"We have booked more than 20 aircraft for teams, fans and sponsors for the group stages alone and will no doubt be exceptionally busy as soon as it becomes clear who will progress to the Round of 16,” he adds.

When the knock-out stages start later this month it is expected to become even more frantic for the company.

“In the past we have had fans phoning from the stadium as soon as the final whistle blows to book their flight for the next round. With France being fairly central to Europe, we’re seeing a lot of day trips being planned. Flying in the morning, soaking up the atmosphere around the ground, enjoying the match and flying home directly afterwards. The beauty of flying on a chartered flight is that, even if the match should go to penalties, the aircraft is still there waiting for you,” he says.

Austrian Airlines adds widebody capacity into France for Euro 2016

Monday 6th June

Airlines are preparing schedules for an expected spike in bookings into France as supporters fly to matches across the country. We reported on Routesonline today that Austrian Airlines is to utilise widebody capacity on its OS411/412 morning rotation between Vienna and Paris Charles de Gaulle three or four days a week between June 12, 2016 and June 23, 2016 to cater of expected demand.

The Star Alliance member will use a Boeing 777-200ER on these flights instead of smaller Airbus A320 Family equipment. It serves the route four times daily. In the Group stages Austria will play Hungary in Bordeaux on June 14, 2016; Portugal in Paris on June 18, 2016 and Iceland in Paris on June 22, 2016.

In addition to deploying larger aircraft, Austrian Airlines is increasing frequencies for flights between Vienna and Paris and Vienna and Lyon. On balance, the red-white-red carrier will be offering an additional 5,500 seats to France in the month of June. The flight offering between Vienna and Paris will be expanded to include 15 additional flights using Airbus A320 and A321 jets. Elsewhere in France it will also be using larger aircraft for flights to Lyon: the Airbus fleet of the airline will also be used for ten rotations between Vienna and Lyon instead of smaller Fokker 100 and Dash8-Q400 equipment to carry fans from Romania or Hungary to the games of their respective national soccer teams.

Austrian Airlines is among the European carriers to reveal a special Euro 2016 aircraft livery. The airline revealed earlier this month an Austrian Football Association (ÖFB) themed Airbus A321 which has photos of ÖFB team players on the fuselage, a football on the tail fin and the word ‘Tooooor!’ (‘goooooal’) displayed on the belly of the aircraft in addition to the lettering ‘myDreamteam’.

The airline’s chief financial officer has high ambitions for the nation too. “The lettering ‘Tooooor!’ on the aircraft belly does not accidentally have five ‘o’s in it. We are looking forward to the Austrian team scoring at least that many goals in its games,” said Heinz Lachinger.

The special foil decal with a material thickness of only 0.05 millimeters was affixed to the aircraft by Austrian Technik in 64 hours of work, and consists of 25 individual parts with a total area of 45m². The foil is particularly durable and resists temperature fluctuations between +80°C and -60°C as well as strains on the fuselage resulting from pressure differences on the ground or in the air.

Turkish Airlines flies official Euro 2016 logojet

Sunday 5th June

As the official airline partner for Euro 2016, expect to see the Turkish Airlines logo and branding on display throughout the month long tournament. Although we are currently seeing a fall in demand into the Turkish market, the fast-expanding carrier continues its dramatic network growth. The airline is even flying an Airbus A330 in a special livery to highlighlight the Euro 2016 partnership. Here's a video on its overnight transformation...

Routes does Euro 2016 | Aviation Week Network (2024)
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