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31 December 2010

As Britain is once again caught in the middle of a cold snap, the wintery conditions are playing havoc with all modes of transport.

Air Charter Service has said that the closure of many major UK airports – including London’s Gatwick – has led to an exceptional increase in the number of enquiries for private jets.

The company, which offers private charters on all sizes of aircraft, received floods of telephone calls from stranded passengers trying to find a way to get abroad, or indeed home to their loved ones.

Joel Fenn, Director Executive Jets at ACS’s London headquarters, said: “So many people have been calling asking if there is any way that we can get them to where they need to be. Luckily, some of the smaller private airports here in the UK have been easier to clear than larger ones and are open. Generally we’ve been able to help them out. Business men still have important meetings that they need to attend and, whilst it would be understood to miss a meeting due to extreme weather, some simply cannot wait.”

Of course there were similar conditions last Christmas, and it’s not only for business purposes that people needed to charter: “We made sure a family spent Christmas together when a gentleman from Monaco contacted us the day before Christmas Eve. His family had already spent over 6 hours waiting at Heathrow Airport before giving up and going home - so he called in late on the 23rd. Within an hour we had organised a Citation II jet to fly his family early on Christmas Eve morning from Farnborough airport out to the principality”, Fenn said.

“A lot of people calling in are realising that chartering small turboprop aircraft isn’t as expensive as they may have thought and are pleasantly surprised. No doubt we will get many more similar calls over the coming month or so as, whilst for some the snow causes merely an inconvenience, for others it will be a necessity to get to where they are scheduled to be.

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