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Flying for business in Europe


It really depends how long you need to spend at each destination. I have three typical models for this:

1. Example a flight to Prestwick and back same day:

Depart Cambridge 0800 local, arrive Prestwick 1000, rental car is waiting for me, drive to office for 1045, leave 1530 depart Prestwick 1645 land Cambridge 1845.

2. The same flight times but going up the day before to get up to almost two full days there depending on what I need.

The same as 1 and 2 applies to other destinations, especially Biggin Hill which is only a 35 minute hop for me as opposed to a 2 hour (if I’m lucky) drive.

3. Round trip eg Cambridge – Prestwick – Biggin – Cambridge using either of the models above. This is the most efficient way to do it.

In Europe, I’ve also used this model to cover multiple cities on the same trip eg Cambridge – Biggin – Saarbrücken – Strasbourg – Biggin – Cambridge over a four day period.

Obviously, if you need longer somewhere, that’s easily accommodated.

I should point out that, if it’s a gin clear day and I’m only flying Cambridge to Biggin, I’ll fly VFR. Everything else is always IFR in airways.

I hope this helps


I fly in the US partly for business, so have nothing to add to this European thread.

But I remember about 4 years ago when I had a job in Prague and then had to go directly from that to a wedding in Cornwall (or is it Devon?) just outside of Plymouth. So London-Prague-Plymouth-London. What a royal pain that ended up being. Not only expensive, but time consuming and inefficient. Ended up flying via Manchester on the return trying to catch a plane to Exeter, which it turns out had stopped flying on the route a day before and I had bought the ticket for the wrong day. What a disaster. 8hrs on a slow moving train made me 2 hrs late for the wedding.

Never had I wanted to fly myself more than that time – I even looked into it, but since I wasn’t IR rated then I couldn’t reliably do it. I would have saved literally a day. And money.

achimha 10-Jan-15 08:01 #50
Ryanair does Stansted – Leipzig.
Of course there are itineraries where GA beats CAT significantly on time. However, that advantage has greatly diminished over the last decade with the explosion of CAT connections and the drop in airfares. There used to be a time where flying a Cheyenne was not more expensive than airline transport which didn’t get you in many places. That is over and will never come back.

That will probably be true till some environmentalist looks up at the sky and asks " Why is there a constant haze of high cirrus in the sky?" Then asks “how are all those ice crystals from Jet travel effecting the global environment?”


I do lots of business flying and deduce all costs on the company. Ideally I combine several meetings in Europe in one trip. To startup I have to drive to the airport, prepare the aircraft and do some preflight planning. Once I am on the way I am more flexible and can have one meeting after the other and be on my way to another aiport where I will meet other clients or suppliers. In any case, I prefer this way of flying than sitting in the back on a commercial flight. In my case I can fly winter and summer. If you don’t have an IR and would be flying a e.g. PA28, you might not be able to make a lot of meetings in time.

As for Paris, you can still fly to Le Bourget, excellent service and good connection to the city. Amsterdam-Schiphol is great, Rotterdam is great, Leipzig, Basel, Dusseldorf, Berlin (Schönefelt), Copenhagen, you name it. Lots of good airports around. What I try to do is arrange the meeting AT the airport. I am taking the effort to fly in, so I don’t see why a customer/supplier would not take the effort to meet you there at the airport.

Often I travel with 1 or 2 employees or with my wife. In both cases, I would have to pay their tickets for them to come along when flying commercial and now they just come on board (weight and balance permitting).

Finally, flying yourself is so much more fun.

EDLE, Netherlands

What I try to do is arrange the meeting AT the airport. I am taking the effort to fly in, so I don’t see why a customer/supplier would not take the effort to meet you there at the airport.

That is a very good point and apparently all the more business oriented airports with a GAT have conference rooms with some form of catering available. For a meeting to have some face to face time there isn’t really a – rational – point for meeting in the city vs at the airport.

Frequent travels around Europe

@blueline Thanks for your input! That gives me confidence in trying it out this year. You’ve also mentioned something about problems deducting the IR training in Germany. Is it even possible to do that if your business is not Aviation related? What about Austria in this case?

I live in Munich, and I own a company in the Czech Republic, 345 km from our apartment.

If I get in the car at 5:30 Monday morning I am in the office at 8:30 (or 9:30 if I take a nap at some rest area …)

A little airfield (LKRK) is right next to our company. If I want to fly, I drive 40 minutes to the airport, and I have to wait until 9 a.m. until the airfield opens. It’s a 40 minute flight then. After landing it takes me 15 minutes to cover the plane etc., and my secretary will pick me up at the field, 2 minute drive.

Cost for driving my car to the office: € 80 for fuel
Cost for flying: € 210 for gas plus € 25 landing fee at home, total: € 235

Every second time i want to fly there’s either fog, or bad weather over the mountains, or very clouds in Bohemia, and many times WX is okay the forecast for the flight back TUE or WED is too bad … so i drive again.

In 2014 i flew there 7 times, out of 50 …

Of course I could almost always fly into LKPR and use the ILS, but then it’s a 50 km drive to the office plus a € 150 landing/parking fee …

and I have to wait until 9 a.m. until the airfield opens

Actually you raise a good point. Part of the reason why Oxford works for me is that it opens at 0630 and closes at 2230. Opening hours are very important for longer business trips as for most UK airfields I could not get back after a full day trip to Europe (maybe I should say mainland Europe for now).

Last Edited by JasonC at 10 Jan 17:24
EGTK Oxford

[…] Opening hours are very important for longer business trips […]

That and the availability of an instrument procedure are two very important points. In my case that combination is actually one major reason for relocating back to Kassel (EDVK). For me it is back because I grew up there. For more than a decade there was talk about improving the airfield and eventually someone decided to build a brand new airport with ILS and the obligation to keep it open every day from 0600 LT to 2200LT.

Frequent travels around Europe

@Dominik: Concerning Germany, others on this forum will know better. In Austria, I was able to deduct my fATPL/ME/IR and CRI training. My business is outside of aviation, but I intend to use the commercial privileges at least part-time. I don’t know wether you are allowed to deduct the cost for an IR based on only a PPL in Austria.

@Peter: Perhaps these taxation issues merit a new thread?

LOAN Wiener Neustadt Ost, Austria
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