Many skiers no longer have the time to take a whole week off to head to the slopes. More and more people are looking to take three or four-day breaks, over a long weekend.

That’s when planning to minimise travel time becomes a key priority. Airline travel can often wipe out half a day each way or more of the trip, once you add in airport check-in times, baggage reclaim and ground transfers – even if the flight itself is fairly short.

On any ski trip, private charter will save considerable time, as you can arrive just 15 minutes before takeoff; get away immediately at the other end; and choose early and late departure times – for a full day of skiing each end of the trip. But for some destinations, the time savings can be even more dramatic, by using smaller airports closer to ski areas, which are not used by airlines.

We did a comparison of travel times for a short ski break to two of Europe’s premier ski resorts, Verbier and St Moritz, using airlines versus private aviation from London.

The door-to-slope time from London to St Moritz can then be just over two hours by flying on a private jet to Samedan-Engadin airport, versus seven hours using scheduled airlines to Zurich. That’s a saving of over ten hours on a return journey – a whole extra day of skiing.

A similar time saving can be made when travelling to Verbier, Zermatt or Les 4 Vallées by flying into Sion airport instead of Geneva.

These smaller airports see a huge increase in flights over the ski season, with a 207% increase on average monthly flight volumes to Samedan-Engadin in February. See more ski airport facts and statistics on our ski infographics.

Of course the VIP luxury of private jet travel adds considerably to the enjoyment of a ski trip, but it is the compelling time-saving benefits that attract many customers.

London to Sion by private jet

Citation Mustang (4 seats)

4-day return

Total aircraft charter price £10,331 (or £2,582 per person, based on 4 people travelling)

Helicopter transfers cut some journey times even further and start from £800 each way for Sion to Verbier.

London to Samedan-Engadin by private jet

Citation Mustang (4 seats)

4-day return

Total aircraft charter price £13,423 (or £3,355 per person, based on 4 people travelling)

COMPARISON 1 – London to St Moritz

  Scheduled airline Private jet
Route London – Zurich London – Samedan St Moritz
Check-in time at airport 2 hrs 15 mins (can be as little as 5 mins)
Flight time 1 hr 40 mins 1 hr 35 mins
Baggage claim/arrival airport waiting time 30 mins N/A
Ground transfer to resort 3 hours 10 mins
Total journey time each way 7 hrs 10 mins 2 hrs
TIME SAVING BY PRIVATE JET 10 hrs 20 mins return(5 hrs 10 mins each way) 

COMPARISON 2 – London to Verbier

  Scheduled airline Private jet (+ helicopter transfer)
Route London – Geneva London – Sion
Check-in time at airport 2 hrs 15 mins (can be as little as 5 mins)
Flight time 1 hr 40 mins 1 hr 35 mins
Baggage claim/arrival airport waiting time 30 mins N/A
Ground transfer to resort 2 hrs 30 mins 50 mins (20 mins by helicopter)
Total journey time each way 6 hrs 40 mins 2 hrs 40 mins(2 hrs 10 mins with helicopter transfer)
TIME SAVING BY PRIVATE JET 8-9 hrs return(4 hrs each way – or 4 hrs 30 mins each way with helicopter transfer)