operates an FBO at Cannes Airport, says, “Preparations
at Cannes start several weeks before the Grand Prix – this
includes coordinating with our local fuel supplier Air BP to
forecast fuel stock. These are the only times where we have
to enforce landing slots to manage such heavy traffic. Out of
this period there are no restrictions on slots at Cannes and
that is one of the beauties of the airport which is focused on
business jets only.
“A few years ago we raised our maximum take-off weight
limit to 42 tonnes so we can now welcome the largest
aircraft as the Falcon 7X or Gulfstream G550.”
Sky Valet Cannes managed over 500 business jet
movements during Grand Prix week this year. Very few
guests use the lounge facilities. For most private aviation
users the goal is to minimize the time between the aircraft
and Monaco. Joseph Azzaz, FBO manager at Sky Valet
Cannes says, “Servicing a VIP jet is often like a pit stop.
You need a lot of preparation, a great team spirit and perfect
coordination to ensure top performance and reduced
Despite the boost to revenues there can be
hidden costs to being a gateway for a major event
such as a Grand Prix. More staff may have to
be employed and additional equipment leased
for the duration. Cross says, “Other challenges
usually concern the weather – conditions can
change very rapidly and affect schedules,
ground service provision. You need to be
ready to step in and manage contingencies
with a prepared game plan.
The private jet motorsport market is divided into
two distinct camps – the teams, drivers and support
personnel who need aviation to function as an efficient,
well-oiled business tool and the VIP spectator group, who
want a high quality, packaged experience.
Vistajet & Ferrari partnership
Ahead of the 2019 F1 season, charter
company VistaJet announced a
partnership with the Scuderia Ferrari
Mission Winnow team as its official
supplier of private jet travel.
VistaJet’s founder and chairman,
Thomas Flohr, has raced competitively
with Ferrari for many years as an
official driver in the FIA World
“With our understanding of the
demands of racing and the focus
required to perform, it was an obvious
partnership from our side,” says Flohr.
“We are incredibly proud to support
the most iconic and successful racing
team in the world with seamless travel
Cannes start several
weeks before the Grand
Prix – this includes
coordinating with our
local fuel supplier Air BP
to forecast fuel stock”
Jérôme Ferasin, chief commercial officer
32 | BU S INE S S A I R P O R T INT E RNAT I ONA L J U L Y 2 0 1 9
There is very little doubt that motorsport, and particularly
Formula 1, make very good use of business and private
aviation aircraft and services in pursuance of pole
position. Sometimes that can go a step further
with direct partnerships (see box: Alfa Romeo &
GlobeAir) and F1 personalities running business
aviation business. F1 driver Thierry Boutsen
now runs Boutsen Aviation, which buys and
sells and corporate aircraft.
PrivateFly is also sponsoring 16-year old
rising motorsport star Olli Caldwell. Driving
for Prema Powerteam, Olli is competing
in the Formula Regional European
Championships - a new F3 series for 2019.
According to PrivateFly, Olli’s challenging
race schedule, flying back to commitments at
home in between means that he appreciates the
benefits of private aviation.
Such moves are a clear indicator that the
connections between F1 and private aviation are only
set to grow.
at Sky Valet
to ensure their focus is on what is
important – the competition on track.
“Innovation, excellence and a
focus on efficiency are values we both
share, so the Scuderia Ferrari team is a
perfect partner fit with VistaJet.”
With the tight schedule of the race
calendar meaning there is often only
days between Grands Prix, VistaJet
supports the team to optimize their
travel and transfer times.
“In a sport where speed and
efficiency are fundamental, our
partnership means the Scuderia
Ferrari Mission Winnow team can use
the time off track to arrive in optimum
condition,” adds Flohr.
Right: Operators experience
peaks in activity around
F1 race days
Below: Service is a key part
of the race day