Your villa is booked, your yacht itinerary is set—but what about your private travel? Flying private in the EU is a bit different than in the U.S. To make sure your European vacation goes smoothly, here are five key considerations for traveling Europe by private jet (along with one bonus tip).
Five Things You Should Know About Flying Private IN Europe
Avoid Peak Times, Especially With Busy Destinations
It’s wise to work with a provider who has the familiarity with Europe necessary to help you plan around any other popular events, holidays, or peak travel times that could disrupt your trip. Private jet usage in Europe is generally heaviest during the summer months, but other periods may have high volume depending on where you’re going. Getting airport slots scheduled for hot destinations like Ibiza or Mykonos will require extra planning and forethought in the summertime.
Fewer Aircraft Means Booking Further Ahead
There are fewer business jets in Europe than there are in North America—according to Polaris Market Research, in 2019, North America accounted for 71 percent of all private aircraft, while Europe accounted for just 13 percent. Because the private jet fleet is smaller there, demand adds up rather quickly. Working with a company that has strong relationships with European operators will help, but if you truly want to guarantee access to aircraft, the best way to do so is by booking your travel as far in advance as possible.
Be Aware Of Air Traffic Control Strikes
EUROCONTROL, the EU’s FAA/Air Traffic Control equivalent, goes on strike often. When this happens, it often results in delays and cancellations as surrounding countries’ Air Traffic Controllers must pick up the striking country’s flight volume. So far in 2023, ATC strikes in France have already caused disruptions, as have strikes in Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. Choose a provider that stays up to date with the latest labor woes and takes them into account when helping you plan your travel.
Know Where To Get Your Receipts Stamped
Travelers from outside the European Union can claim a tax refund on purchases they made on their trip. To do that, they’ll need their receipts stamped by customs authorities at their point of departure. You can do this at some airports—however, not all airports have a designated customs office for private jet travelers. If you’re working with an experienced broker or provider, they can determine where you’ll need to get your receipts stamped and help you plan your trip accordingly.
Get Familiar With Slot Scheduling
Most European airports require the scheduling of takeoff and arrival slots. Your provider will arrange these slots for you—make sure you work with a private jet company that is well-versed in dealing with slot scheduling on behalf of clients. It also helps to understand that, due to the stricter scheduling of European airports, you won’t have as much flexibility around your departure or arrival times as you do when flying at home. Your provider may ask you to adjust your arrival or departure based on slot availability.
MORE: What To Know About Slot Scheduling In Private Aviation
Bonus: Fly Within Europe At Fixed Rates
Want to enjoy locked-in hourly rates when flying within Europe? Magellan’s Jet Card Owners enjoy fixed pricing on intra-European flights, as well as guaranteed, 365-day access to aircraft. Jet Card Ownership is the perfect tool for providing certainty in your private travel and avoiding the dynamic pricing of the charter market, no matter what side of the pond you’re on.
Magellan Jets: Your Experienced European Private Jet Provider
Magellan’s extensive relationships with European aircraft operators, along with our 15 years of experience arranging flights to and within the continent, make us the perfect partner for safe, seamless, and unforgettable European travel experiences. Looking to book your European getaway? Use our tool below to get an instant private jet charter quote on flights to or within Europe.