The first of 2019’s four Grand Slam Tennis Tournaments kicks off January 14th in Melbourne, Australia. In its 107th year, the Australian Open holds the distinction of being the largest sporting event held south of the Equator. If you are a tennis fan, or simply suffering from the winter blues, it’s a perfect time to take a private charter to Melbourne to watch world-class tennis and take advantage of summertime in the Southern Hemisphere.
Organized in 1905, during the tournament’s first four decades few foreign players participated in the competition because of Australia’s remote location. Completely understandable since it took about 45 days to reach Australia from Europe by ship. Even with improvements in long-distance travel, the tournament suffered from low attendance until the 80s. Its scheduling close to the Christmas/New Year’s holidays and low prize money did not entice players. In the 1980s, the tournament was moved to mid-January, the court surface updated from grass to hard court and the ante upped. The International Tennis Federation offered a million-dollar bonus to any singles player to win all four majors tournaments. These changes lifted the Australian Open out of its participation slump and into the most-attended of the Grand Slam events.
The Australian Open is now much more than just a tennis match. The two-week long tournament is packed with entertainment and events, making the trip to Down Under more than worth the effort. AO Live Stage, a 15-day live music event that runs consecutively with the tournament, features popular Australian and International acts. New to the tournament in 2019 is the Australian Open Sports Film Festival, which will screen sports films across three venues for the duration of the tournament. Returning for the fourth year is the AO Inspirational Series, headlined this year by Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, Artistic Director of Conde Nast and lifelong tennis fan. For foodie fans, the Australian Open Chef Series is showcasing world-renowned chefs in a variety of settings from fine dining to food trucks. If you are traveling to the Australian Open with children, AO Ballpark offers waterslides, climbing walls, stage shows, movies and much more. Making it even more attractive for the entire family, for the first time professional onsite childcare will be offered for kids ages 5-14.
Private flights to Melbourne have four different airport options from which to choose. An ElJet Travel Manager can help you determine which location will best accommodate your needs.
The Australian Open has taken best-in-class tennis and coupled it with a smorgasbord of activities, turning the once underattended masters event into the biggest of the Grand Slam Tennis Tournaments. So shed your winter clothes, grab your shades and SPF and book your private jet to the Australian Open today!