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Repatriation flights and the key role of private aviation during pandemic

Once plagued with uncertainty, private aviation companies rose to help people a great deal during the global pandemic, COVID-19, as private aviation, a key role in transportation. They took the people suspended in foreign countries out of the trouble and alighted them swiftly and safely to their home countries.

It was the time when the major operations of almost all the international airlines were suspended by the authorities and people experienced great anxiety in reaching their homes.

To run the operations of private aviation smoothly, private jet companies and embassies throughout the world coordinated well and contributed towards the safe repatriation of families to their home countries.

The main reason for relying on private jet companies was that almost all the operations of commercial aviation were suspended around the globe. Most of these companies have their operations still halted for an unknown period.

Three private companies reported E & E-News that they witnessed a significant increase in bookings since president Trump declared a ban on most of the commercial US air travel companies from Europe to the US. Other European countries also announced travel restrictions, and this is the main reason that people, especially the elite class heavily depended on private jets.

Those who, unfortunately, could not qualify for the hefty airfare of private jet planes preferred to stay stranded until some relief is provided by the government.

The role of private jets in repatriating the families is further substantiated by the case of Palm Beach-based private charter company named Bitlux which reported to have coordinated several flights to and from the US, Africa, and Asia. The CEO of the company further said that repatriation flights became a global trend since the outbreak of COVID-19 at the end of 2019.

The CEO of BitLux, Kale Patel confirmed that owing to their vast experience in operating global flights, premium quality, and optimal aircraft availability, the embassies across the globe relied heavily on private charter companies to repatriate the suspended families to their homes.

Similarly, another private jet company named Monarch Air Group based at Fort Lauderdale International Airport has also worked closely with various US embassies. It has the credit to conduct many repatriation flights during the last month, mainly from Latin America. The president of Monarch Air Group, David Gitman, while expressing his pleasure at this great service to suspended families, stated that he was glad to have the opportunity of playing the pivotal role in bringing the distressed families back to their homes safely and swiftly. He further expressed his gratitude to the embassies for executing a superb job of helping those people they didn’t know and opening all the shatters and bounds to allow them to fly to their home.

The phrase ‘private jet safety’ has, however, taken a completely new meaning during the pandemic caused by COVID-19. Now, the ‘safety’ focuses more on the air in the cabin, disinfection of the surfaces, distancing from other passengers, and following all the stringent rules laid by the private jet aviation companies.

The companies took special care to keep the passengers safe from the disease by laying and implicating strict rules as to who can fly and where.

They together passed a CARE (Corona Aid Relief and Economic Security) Act to ensure the safety of passengers. Those displaying any of the COVID-19 symptoms, the senior citizens and others with compromised immune systems, or showing the recent history of having traveled to or from high-risk areas were denied boarding or were asked to produce a Travel Health Declaration.

To limit passengers’ exposure to large groups, only 8 to 14 people were carried in one go. Cabin air was disinfected frequently during travel. Also, the list of destinations was largely shrunk, restricting many international and local flights. Hence, with the constantly evolving pandemic, safety standards of private jet companies have been and are evolving.

Humanitarian Flights

Not only did the private jet companies help the families repatriate but they also extended their services for transportation of goods on humanitarian grounds.

By transporting medical teams and supplies like masks, kits, and other necessities to the COVID-19 hot hit countries, these private aviation companies proved that they could extend their business beyond the luxury and business-led flying operations.

They proved to be a great alternative to the commercial cargo planes whose operations were largely diminished by the authorities with the spike in COVID-19.

The fact is that these humanitarian missions are carried round the year by these privately led jet companies. Be it an earthquake, a hurricane, a Tsunami, a forest fire, or flood, these sturdy jet planes available in large numbers will ensure transportation of supplies to the far-off regions. They would even reach the isolated regions which require specific conditions for aircraft operations. These large numbers of aircraft can be adaptive to narrow or even damaged airstrips. Proving themselves to be ‘the men in crisis’, these private jets are worth all the praise showered to them by the families who reached their home safely due to their timely help.

The same humanitarian passion was witnessed in the people who traveled by Monarch Air Group. The president of the group confirmed that there were passengers who generously donated the seats beside them to those who were also stranded like them in some foreign lands but were unable to afford the heavy amount of the airfare. It is such an admirable gesture that is made possible only in the world of private jet companies. The specialized air charter companies coordinated well between the aircraft owners and passengers and made it all possible.

Such timely and unconditional help is looked forward to by people facing the challenges due to this pandemic. In these unprecedented times, they are looking for some spark in ashes which may bring a ray of hope to their distressed lives. These repatriation and humanitarian flights are highly applauded for their timely services. Although these services would not contribute to bringing the disease to an end, they played their part in the wake of a global aviation crisis that may take months or maybe years to reinstate.

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