Sports teams flying private – for fun, prestige or efficiency?Travel fatigue which consequently leads to drop in athletic performance by 2-5% has been a discussion in sports for long. Nowadays, athletes change their locations for competitions and training frequently, thus private flying is what helps to save time, energy and prepare for the game mentally. 

In many sports, from tennis to racing, participation in tournaments is a must not only to keep up the shape, but sometimes, to collect ranking points. Therefore, the frequency of traveling has increased significantly nowadays. One season can require to fly over 370 000 km, as it was the case of Manchester United during the 2012 UEFA. Constant traveling impose a risk on players performance, however taking private flights, this uncertainty can be minimized. 

Privacy and rest
Medical research reveals that due to fatigue encountered during the traveling to the competition location, there is a 61% chance of home-based team winning the competition when their opponent crossed 3 time zones. Fans reaching out for the signatures, crowds gathering into a line for selfies are casualties of any famous sportsperson in public places, including airports. Although attention and observation can be cheerful sometimes, pre-tournament period has to be calm and dedicated for concentration. Qualitative time on private jets either with counterparts or alone helps to rest well and prepare for the upcoming competition mentally and physically. NBA players, for example, can only dream about stretching out in regular commercial flight. Hence, appropriate amount of space to relax was the main reason for either individual NBA players (including Kobe Bryant or Chris Paul) or teams to choose private jets as inevitable option. 

On-board strategizing
It may seem that time on-board is for movies, food and other kind of entertainment, but in reality, sports teams, as well as businesses, use time in the air productively. Reviewing competitor games, presenting background about player strengths and weaknesses, Vitalij Kapitonov, CEO of KlasJetstrategizing – these are only few to mention. Various sports teams across the US, including hockey legends Bruin, use flat-screen TVs to analyze the games and use it for personal players’ development. At the end of the day, winning competition is not only about the physical preparedness, but also clear strategy and team communication. 

When tournaments take place in remote or long-haul flight requiring locations, a number of connecting flights are needed. This only increases the travel fatigue and amount of time dedicated for transportation rather than strategizing or training. 
“Private flights can facilitate fatiguing transportation scheme by taking teams from A to B without any additional headache. Either it is the stopover for refueling or bus shuttle to the hotel, teams do not need to care about any logistical issues. More and more professional sportsman use private jets because of their value exceeding the cost,” comments Vitalij Kapitonov, CEO of KlasJet which is a member of the international Avia Solutions Group family. 

Flexibility is the key
Airline schedules are fixed, thus frequently are hard to find a fitting alternative to precise time requirements. Add the time team spends on check-in, long TSA lines and the risk of flight delays, which alternatively can lead to late arrivals and stress. Too many risks to encounter the unnecessary frustration and misbalance. 

In contrast, private jet timetables are precisely meeting customer request and can be altered if needed. Overtime is usual in sports. For example, the longest football game Kentucky vs Arkansas in 2003 ended up with 7 overtime periods. Regular air carriers simply cannot accommodate flexibility to delay flights, which in contrast is possible when taking private jets.  

Finally, think about the amount of equipment hockey or American football team has to carry on. Non-standard luggage has to be checked-in imposing a risk on losing it. This has happened numerous times in sports history and lead to unnecessary stress and consequently underperformance. In 2016, scandalous luggage loss of NFL player Andy Dalton was found only after the match, which left player with both no game costume and casual clothes. On the contrary, safe transportation of equipment is ensured while taking private flights where no restrictions for the baggage size or weight exist.


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