Business aviation flies through COVID19
The first waves of lockdown were full of lessons regarding the best practices to follow in private jet rental services when faced with multiple and evolving travel restrictions.
In the unprecedented context facing frequent travellers, more and more of them are turning to business aviation as a reliable and efficient means of transport. In spite of the countless travel restrictions, the chartering of private jets has also seen growth greater than 20% since the beginning of the crisis.
At the beginning of 2020, when the spread of the pandemic led to the progressive closure of all borders, the Skylark teams organised many repatriation flights, particularly owing to the stoppage of many scheduled services. Now, the services carried out by commercial airlines remain greatly disrupted. However, while conditions for accessing countries are more flexible, thanks to a greater availability of Covid-19 tests, many new clients are turning towards the hiring of private jets as an effective alternative for organising their travel.
Are flights by private jet affected by any particular restrictions?
Whether carried out by a commercial airplane, a business jet or a helicopter, charter flight operations fall under commercial public transport set of regulations. Due to this, they are subject to the same rules as regular flights operated by commercial airlines. Nevertheless, faced with the particularities of the crisis we are experiencing, the advantages of the private jet rental solutions are more differentiating than ever. The flexibility and reactivity which characterise on-demand aviation, allow it to adapt to the successive changes in health demands and travellers’ need for mobility.
“… it is the flexibility and reactivity which characterise private jet rental services allowing it to adapt to the successive changes in health demands and to the needs of its users.”
Are the health conditions guaranteed on board a private jet?
It has now been demonstrated that, thanks to HEPA filters and even the core design of the pressurised aircraft cabin ventilation systems in planes, the risk of being infected whilst on board is almost non-existent. Indeed, whether you are travelling in a business plane or an airliner and on condition that you comply with wearing a mask, it is almost impossible to get infected, even on long-haul flights.
On the other hand, because their organisation has been designed from the outset around customer experience, charter air operators have greater resources at their disposal to implement the most demanding On-board health security measures. Indeed, while the economics of a commercial airliner require highest-possible utilisation and therefore the shortest possible time spent on the ground between flights, a business jet or private aircraft is not intended to fly more than once or twice a day. This leaves the time necessary for specialist teams to carry out a deep disinfection of the cabin and cockpit between each flight.
What are the current travel restrictions?
The restrictions are changing every day and we would recommend you visit the IATA website dedicated to this issue. For each country, it identifies all the travel restrictions and requirements currently in place for entry and visiting. According to our aircraft charter expert teams, it is among the most reliable sources of air transport information as it is permanently updated using the ‘Notams’ published by the aviation authorities, based upon the health authorities’ recommendations. According to your country of origin, a recent test (often carried out within fewer than 72 hours) will be required and/or quarantine measures can be imposed.
Please note it is also the responsibility of air transport companies to take these requirements into consideration for flight crews. The measures specific to countries where you will stop over must also be studied before or after your flight.
Within the EU, European citizens have the right to free movement. At the beginning of the pandemic, various border restrictions were decided unilaterally, thus contradicting this principle. In order to give travellers more clarity, European States decided to improve their co-ordination by sharing their epidemiological data. In this way, the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Control) publishes each week a map of departure countries or regions in which there are exemptions to the restrictions applying to travel within Europe.
♣ Faced with these changes, which are frequent and difficult to anticipate, Skylark Aviation Expert offers its business aviation clients changes of date, destination, or travel postponement or full cancellation, free-of-charge. Ask our teams for further information by clicking here.
In this context, what are the advantages for travelling in a private jet?
In order to limit your exposure to the risk of infection and particularly for at-risk people, business aviation presents the best guarantees of all modes of transport:
- By transiting via special terminals dedicated to business aviation flights. You thereby limit the risks of exposure and infection, as these airport installations are reserved for business jet or private jet passengers who are necessarily less numerous than on passenger lines operating regular flights.
- As the scheduling of the flights of these business planes is essentially less dense, passenger cabins are therefore fully disinfected between each flight. From individual screens to the catering equipment, the least contact surface is disinfected with virucidal products, in accordance with FAA and EASA directives.
- As the special flight you have chartered is dedicated to you alone, there is no risk of you sharing the cabin with any passengers other than those you have chosen.
Because the air transport market has been deeply shaken, you can take advantage of the guarantees afforded by Skylark Aviation Expert, which vouches for the choice of transport company to whom your travel is entrusted. From punctuality to the guarantee of the payments you have made, discover the difference of our private jet hire services.
Are the crews of private jets subject to COVID-19 tests?
Generally, the crew (pilots and flight attendants) are periodically subject to medical check-ups. A code of ethics has already been set up and travel crews are used to taking scrupulous care of their health. This is justified by travel fatigue which can accentuate a temporary weakness and also the fact that it is one of the rare professions where working is conditional upon a favourable medical check-up.
On the other hand, within the context of their frequent travel to many countries, they are required to produce the results of a recent negative Covid-19 test at each stop-over and for each new entry into a destination country, even within Europe, as explained above.
Can I travel in a private jet even if I have been diagnosed positive with Covid-19?
You cannot travel on a scheduled or standard business jet if you have recently tested positive for Covid-19 or if you have symptoms. We would therefore suggest you organise transport via the chartering of a plane appropriate for repatriation for health reasons – air ambulance jet or medical evacuation aircraft – and especially equipped with an approved means of isolation for patients affected by a respiratory infection.
To find out more regarding the measures taken on board our flights, for any questions regarding our business aviation chartering solutions or for an estimate for the chartering of planes anywhere in the world, please contact us here.