23 MARCH 2020


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Article from BTNews 23 MARCH 2020

Bizjet fraternity rallies

The last two to three weeks have seen a surge of interest in the private jet charter market Alison Chambers reports.

There are currently no major disruptions at UK airports, except flights to Italy, with only a few local airports open for private jet companies to use.  

The problem is more of immigration, when borders close, not airport specific. 

“There was concern when the prime minister made an announcement about London going into lockdown.  We thought everything would close inside the M25, but London City and Northolt airports are open.  Most of our charter flights are at the bigger airports typically Luton and Farnborough,” says Garreth Horrocks, European safety officer at PrivateFly.   “A range of jets are being booked, including mid-range Embraer Legacy; Citation Bravo and Excel, plus longer-range Challenger.  Most flights are for repatriation, taking families to their homes in other countries where they are staying put. 

“The net is closing as countries close borders and I have become Sherlock Holmes, seeking information for clients (using ICAO and International SOS information) to look at changes at specific destinations.  This frees up time for the sales team and we talk twice a day on Zoom, sharing what borders are closing and when.  We typically have 24 hours’ notice to advise clients on new restrictions and sanctions accordingly.   Clients are coming to us because airlines have cancelled, and we are seeing a mix of repeat clients and new users.  Private jet operators are very pro-active disinfecting their aircraft, using Universal Protection Kits (UPK).  Some have infrared thermometers on board, mainly for crew.

“There has certainly been a spotlight on the bizjet world, which should serve us well when we are out of this crisis,” Garreth agrees.

Alison Chambers will highlight the recent annual conference of BBGA, including how companies are rallying against Coronavirus in next week's ON TOUR.



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