London Fashion Week 2021- Business Aviation Planning Tips:

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Update: UK Now Open – The United Kingdom ended quarantine requirements for vaccinated U.S. and EU travelers on Aug. 2, 2021. Our Universal Aviation FBOs in the UK report that the entry process has been pretty seamless so far. Traffic is expected to start ramping up later this month as the summer holiday travel season starts winding down and business travel picks back up. Our blog article has the latest on UK Covid ops. Our blog has more. For the latest UK COVID travel restrictions visit our article on Europe COVID Ops.

For more information on London airports, visit our destination guides:

With the UK’s quarantine requirements for vaccinated U.S. and EU travelers now expired (see our blog for the latest UK requirements), traffic is expected to start ramping up starting in September 2021 and through the end of the year. Our Universal Aviation FBOs in the UK are prepping for a busy end of fall. London is already experiencing a sizable increase in business travel bookings for the September+ time period. In addition to pent-up business demand, the UK has several upcoming high-traffic events coming up for fall, including London Fashion Week, the BFI London Film Festival, and two NFL Games. (See list below.)

Here’s everything you need to know about London Fashion Week 2021.


London Fashion Week 2021 Overview

London Fashion Week is held twice a year, in both fall and spring, and it is part of the “Big 4” international fashion weeks. It brings the who’s who of the fashion world to London, together with a large quantity of business jets in supporting roles. After going digital only in spring 2021 due to the COVID pandemic, the event will be once again hosting live in-person events at this year’s fall event, Sept. 17-21, 2021.


Best London Fashion Week airport options

Depending on the airfield you choose for your operation to this event, it’s important to consider airport slots, parking, and PPR requirements. Additionally, be aware of noise requirements in the area. Most Fashion Week events are in Central London.

The best airport option, depending on your schedule, could be RAF London Northolt, which is London’s closest business airport to Central London. It is also a great option for making crew swaps due to its proximity to Heathrow. Northolt to Park Lane Central London is 30 minutes by car. The same journey from most other London airports would take over 1 hour 30 minutes. If you haven’t been to the UK in a while, you may not be aware that London-Northolt Airport has recently expanded its hours, making it a great option for accessing Central London or for flights making crew swaps at Heathrow. 

Universal Aviation Northolt

You can read more about the enhancements at Northolt in our Northolt destination guide. London City (EGLC) is another airport option in close proximity to the fashion runways.

The only 24-hour GA friendly airfields in the London area are EGSS and EGGW. And while both are 24/7, they are subject to limited slot availability – first come, first served.

Stansted (EGSS) and Luton (EGGW) are a 60-75 minute drive to the West End depending upon traffic. As a 24/7 airport with 10,000 foot runways, Stansted is always a great option for any business aviation option to London.

Universal Aviation Stansted

You can read more about operating to Stansted in our Stansted destination guide.

Biggin Hill (EGKB) is also a good option, although on the other side of the city, and Farnborough (EGLF) is about a 115-minute drive to the primary fashion venues.


Hotels, catering and local transport

Fall is typically a busy period for both tourism and business in London. We anticipate to see significant business aviation traffic to the city in Fall/Winter 2021, due to pent-up demand from the pandemic.

Some preferred hotels in central London may sell out during these events, but there should be no problem locating acceptable crew accommodations. Accommodations can be sourced based on crew preferences and budget. For example, some crew like to stay in central London while others may prefer a country hotel close to a golf course.

For local transport in London the underground tube system is convenient and safe, as are black London taxis. You may also want to consider ridesharing apps or have your ground handler arrange transport between the airport and hotel. You can get a free quote for ground transportation through Drivania Chauffeurs.

The London area has some terrific caterers who primarily service the GA market. While there are good in-flight catering options to be had at all airports there are no issues in bringing catering from hotels/restaurants through security and out to your aircraft, assuming this is coordination with your handler. For more information on catering, visit Air Culinaire Worldwide.


Conclusion

Fashion Week 2021 returns to in-person events after going all virtual in 2020. Attendees should consider airports convenient to the venues such as RAF London Northolt. Although expected to attract business aviation operators, there is no anticipated capacity issues with local airports or hotels. Operators, should, however, work closely with their service providers as local services may be constrained due to worker and supply shortages.  


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