New Zealand Football looking to hire private plane for All Whites' arduous trip to Peru

  • 17/10/2017
New Zealand football can cut travel time in half if the hire a private plane
New Zealand football can cut travel time in half if the hire a private plane Photo credit: Photosport

New Zealand Football (NZF) is seriously considering hiring a private aircraft to get the All Whites to Lima for the second-leg of the intercontinental World Cup playoff against Peru.

A long travel time will be a major hurdle for the Oceania champions to overcome, as they look to book a spot in Russia next year.

Team manager Rob Pickstock said the entire management group is looking at ways to ease the load on the players and give them the best possible chance of toppling a side now ranked 10th in the world.

A chartered flight would give the players an extra 24 hours to acclimatise to the conditions and that could make all the difference, come the business end of the game.

"It comes down to 96 hours in Lima before the game or 72 hours, and 44 hours in the air as opposed to 20 hours in the air," he told Newshub.

"That's the comparison.

"It could make all the difference - a massive difference - especially for those last 30 minutes. That's what it could all come down to - how the players are feeling in that last 30 minutes of the second game."

If NZF can get a deal done, it would look at flying out a few hours after the final whistle blows in Wellington for the first leg on November 11.

But it comes at a cost, somewhere in the vicinity of NZ$800,000.

That type of money is not available in the limited war chest that NZF has available, so it would be looking at sharing the cost with fans, who could travel with the team.

"The cheapest way to do it is to get an aircraft with the capacity they need, then sell off the other 100 seats," Pickstock said.

"Absolutely, fans are the obvious choice. Whoever sits in the seat I don't mind, as long as they buy their tickets.

"That would be the ideal scenario. It sounds really easy, but it's not very easy to make that happen."

NZF is looking at the possibility of acquiring outside investment to help fund the flight, while sharing costs with its opponents hasn't been ruled out either.

"We have a number of plans underway to see how we could maybe make that work - that's as specific as I can get right now. It's about a 50/50 chance of happening.

"They're [Peru] in a similar position to us. They'd like to charter an aircraft in both directions, because they have quite a large contingent... but they're struggling to find an aircraft with the cost factor as well.

"Sharing a plane could be something we talk about

"We're okay with that and they were not okay with it four days ago, but they're getting more okay with it each day. as they can't secure a plane."

The second leg of the tie takes place on Thursday, November 16 (NZT).