Two travel agencies have now chartered four aircraft for Liverpool FC fans to attend the Champions League final – as official travel partner Thomas Cook Sport struggles to meet demand.
Myriad Travel and Crown Travel originally chartered two aircraft to take football fans to Kiev to watch Liverpool play Real Madrid this Saturday.
Soaring demand has led to the Liverpool-based agencies jointly chartering two further aircraft to take fans and bring them back on the same day.
Official travel partner Thomas Cook Sport admitted its ability to charter aircraft outside its own fleet was “limited”.
It has four aircraft taking fans to the event – the same number as Myriad and Crown.
A spokesman said: “We’re disappointed we haven’t been able to get more than four aircraft for Liverpool fans to travel to Kiev. We tried but there simply aren’t enough available aircraft of the required standard, and there is very high demand across Europe for the planes which are available.”
Myriad Travel and Crown Travel have between them booked just over 600 passengers and still have more than 100 names on a waiting list. Two of the flights have been chartered from JTA Travel, one is with Winged Boots and the other with Travelpack.
“It has been a minefield to keep on top of and we have been working very long hours,” said Woodley, who has drafted in her cousin to help respond to enquiries.
The agency will be open from 8am until 8pm this Friday for clients to collect flight tickets ahead of Saturday’s flights from Liverpool Airport.
Woodley, who has never chartered flights before, admitted she was “terrified” in case of any problems. “I am really nervous,” she said.
She and her staff will greet passengers at the airport check-in while Crown Travel manager Charlie Diakou will join fans on the first flight on Saturday and the last flight back.
“If we can manage to control everything and make sure everyone is on the correct aircraft then the job is done,” he said.
Already the decision to charter flights is paying off, said Woodley. “We have had a booking to Bali from one of the clients and a lot of people have said they didn’t know we were here and will use us again,” she added.
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