November 7, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
A new company has formed in Europe to allow tourists to fly a rented Cessna 172 on several tours ranging from $10,000 to $14,000, and lasting 12 to 14 days.
Marko Majer of Slovenia, who formed Cavok European Airtours, said operations will begin in the spring or summer of 2010.
Destinations include Italy, Greece, Croatia, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. The tours will include four-star hotels and feature food and wine of the areas visited. Several of the countries have a “day off” to go on self-guided tours.
The cost is $10,000 per person, and includes not only hotels and food, but all the paperwork needed to fly the aircraft, which are registered in the United States. The rules in the countries to be visited require all pilots to use English if even one English-speaking pilot is in the pattern. Interestingly, many of the airports, about half, will be small grass strips. There are also tours of the Alps, where most of the runways are paved. There will be two to three hours of flying per day.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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