Chapman Freeborn blog

Five top incentive flight destinations for 2014

While the economic downturn hit Europe’s incentive travel industry hard, the sector appears to have finally turned a corner with product launches, conferences and corporate events all back on the agenda for 2014.

According to Anna Pizzagalli, passenger air charter specialist at Chapman Freeborn’s Turin office, this year has seen higher demand for her company’s group charter expertise than any point in the last four years.

She said: “While it would be wrong to say the incentive flight business has completely recovered, we’re finding that more and more companies are putting their toes back in the water and scheduling corporate events for next year.”

In terms of air charter demand, the top incentive flight destinations are still those that offer a combination of great weather, interesting cultural attractions and first-rate conference facilities.

However, while the more well-established European incentive charter flight destinations like Spain and Germany are still popular, other markets are now increasingly grabbing the attention of travel managers.

Ahead of next month’s TTG travel industry event in Rimini, Italy, Anna Pizzagalli reveals some of the most sought after incentive flight destinations for her company’s air charter clients:

Kalamata, Greece

It’s no secret that Greece has wonderful beaches, great weather, and fantastic food. It now also offers a growing reputation for incentive travel – with Kalamata the pick of the country’s flight destinations.

Located at the apex of the crystal-blue Messinian Bay and at the foot of the imposing Mount Taygetos, Kalamata has a number of great venues for meetings, incentives and events – including the five-star e-Filoxenia Hotel. With extensive conference and meeting facilities, the hotel complements its incredible surroundings with functional appeal.

The city is served by Kalamata International Airport which can receive charter flights for groups. The old city is only a 20 minute transfer from the airport – meaning passengers are in their hotel in no time.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul may have narrowly missed out on being awarded the 2020 Olympics, but the city still offers a diverse mix of stunning architecture and historical attractions alongside an ever improving infrastructure.

The city is served by two international airports, Istanbul Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen International, the latter being the fastest growing airport in the world. Both airports cater for anything from small to very large group charter flights, and offer a transfer time into the city centre of less than 40 minutes.

There is no shortage for incentive venues in the city – a famous example is the five-star Grand Cevahir Hotel. Another common choice is the Halic Congress Centre, which is set in a picturesque sea side location overlooking Golden Horn Bay.

Marrakech, Morocco

As one of the busiest cities in Africa, Marrakech has an undeniable attraction as both a tourist and incentive destination, with the industry continuing to expand rapidly as it has since the early 60’s.Marrakech Menara Airport serves the area, and is situated only four miles from the city centre, resulting in very brief transfers in and out of the city. Alongside its two main terminals, the airport also benefits from a VIP lounge, making it popular for private and group air charter.

The recently opened Es Saadia Palace Spa is quickly becoming a very popular for meetings, incentive and event purposes. Those looking for a more unique hotel or luxurious event venue might choose the incredible Royal Mansour. Located within the city walls, the hotel is palace-like in appearance and rather than offering traditional rooms, guests are provided with their own personal Riad.

Dubai, UAE

World famous as the home of the tallest building in existence, Dubai has emerged as a cosmopolitan metropolis, described by many as the business and cultural hub of the Middle East.

The instantly recognisable Burj Al Arab is described by many as the most luxurious hotel in the world. Standing on an artificial island, the hotel boasts a staggering 590ft atrium, over 200 rooms and facilities to hold impressive events and meetings.

Dubai International Airport is located 2.5 miles northeast of Dubai, making accessing the city easy. It also benefits from an executive flight terminal, the largest in the Middle East, catering exclusively for private charter flights into the airport. With a fully equipped business centre, eight luxury lounges and a plane to terminal limousine service, chartering an aircraft into Dubai International is a seamless experience


With its warm climate and numerous historical sites, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it’s no wonder that Malta has always been a favoured tourist and incentive flight destination.

Malta international airport serves the whole Maltese archipelago, located three miles outside the capital Valletta. Incentive organisers have the pick of an entire Island when it comes to venues. Common choices are the Corinthia Hotel in St. George’s Bay or the Grand Hotel Excelsior in Floriana, both offering incredible views and excellent facilities.

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Images: Royal Mansour, Marrakech. For those looking for a luxury option, The Royal Mansour offers 1, 2 and 3 bedroom private riads that deliver the ultimate hotel experience.

Chapman Freeborn will be exhibiting at TTG Incontri, Rimini, October 17-19. For more information on aircraft charter services, or to book a meeting, please contact / +39 011 450 0858