England fans are looking at hiring private jets in a scramble to get to Moscow for the Three Lions’ biggest game in decades, according to one UK-based charter company.
St Albans firm PrivateFly said it had hundreds of requests for charter jets after England’s 2-0 win over Sweden in the World Cup.
With prices for commercial flights soaring, the company said fans were looking to club together to get to the Russian capital and witness England’s first World Cup semi-final in 28 years.
The company said it was offering nine-seater jets to Moscow for between £45,000 to £50,000 return, meaning fans could face paying more than £5,000 each.
Larger groups faced spending more than £150,000 for a private airliner.
Carol Cork, co-founder and marketing director of PrivateFly, said enquiries had been 20 times higher than usual since England’s penalty shootout win over Colombia last week.
And she said: “We’ve had an exceptionally busy weekend, taking hundreds of enquiries, especially since England won on Saturday.
“Lots of demand is coming from groups of fans, who are co-ordinating themselves to share the cost of chartering a private jet, to travel in VIP style for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“One group is made up of colleagues from two different London financial firms coming together; another are family and friends spread out in Leicestershire and the North East, who are flying from Manchester.”
A second charter firm, Elite Sports Travel, said it had also had a spike in interest and taken several bookings.
Meanwhile, travel agent and tour operator association Abta said its members had seen another wave of increased demand.
An Abta spokeswoman said: “Abta Members are reporting yet another surge in demand for travel to Russia after England reached the semi-final.
“For fans looking to travel to Moscow for England’s semi-final, it’s important to remember that there are entry requirements for Russia: if you have a valid ticket to one of the matches and have registered for a Fan ID, you won’t need a visa. If you don’t have a ticket and Fan ID, you will need a visa.
“However, please be aware that The Russian Embassy advised in March 2018 that it takes around 20 business days to process most visa applications.”
The Foreign Office has reminded fans to check irs Be on the Ball website before travelling.