It was a typical English winter's day when 38 people turned up at Farnborough: overcast, gloomy and not notably warm. There was, however, anticipation and curiosity in the air. Even top managers from a global leader become a little excited at the prospect of a mystery trip.
Tim Rees, passenger charter analyst, had ensured that the events company booking the trip had everything it required, which meant keeping the destination a complete secret from the passengers. While they enjoyed a champagne reception in the private lounge, one or two did try to quiz the ground staff, but - as with everybody else capable of giving away the secret - they had been thoroughly briefed.
They boarded a Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet, only to find that the crew would happily answer any of their questions except 'the big one.' It was, therefore, still a complete surprise a little over three hours later when the VIPs landed and emerged into the warmth of Marrakesh. Discretion is an everyday attitude within Air Charter Service so, while this level of secrecy is a little beyond the norm, keeping the secret was never a problem.
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