A Private Jet Flight During COVID-19

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the transportation industry; and certainly air travel has not been spared.

Since early March, our efforts have focused on repatriation flights for families & businesses.

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Private aviation in this sense creates a bridge to replace routes that airlines no longer serve Рwhether temporarily or for longer. It also allows passengers to use smaller airports and avoid large-scale social interaction that busy commercial airports pose. Every step of our flights has been examined with safety and hygiene at the forefront.

The Journey to the Airport

Our Client Services team typically arrange a car transfer to ferry passengers to the airport; however, these days we’ve seen a few changes that are a direct result from coronavirus concern.

For example, many clients are choosing to arrive in smaller groups in smaller vehicles where they might have once chosen a large SUV or van. All drivers are fitted with gloves and masks, and unnecessary contact is avoided. All vehicles are thoroughly disinfected after each trip as well.

Arrival at the FBO

Most private jet flights depart from an FBO (Fixed Base Operator), that is a separate terminal to the main airport.

As before the pandemic, passengers need only arrive 15 minutes before their departure. Security checks are quick and efficient.

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During these times, FBO staff are all equipped with masks and gloves, with ample sanitizing gel available to passengers & crew. Interactions are kept to a minimum and many FBO lounges and cafes are restricted.

More and more FBOs are also allowing passengers to drive directly onto the tarmac to board their private aircraft, bypassing the lobby entirely. While this is sometimes allowed in normal times, it’s become more common given the current circumstances.

On Board

Normally, the captain and crew would greet the passengers with a handshake in the FBO lobby. With the pandemic, this type of procedure has been eliminated, and a wave or verbal greeting is now standard.

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Most crew will be wearing masks, and remain at a distance when possible. Many customers have requested larger-cabin aircraft to facilitate more distancing, but the policy is in place regardless of aircraft size.

Catering orders have also changed; where a flight attendant might have prepared a meal on board before the coronavirus pandemic, now meals are prepared by the chef and placed on the plane, and passengers serve themselves; this limits the amount of contact possible.

Upon Arrival

After landing, passengers pass through the new FBO to reach their car transfer or are picked up directly on the tarmac.

Some countries impose a quarantine or procedure upon arrival. Domestic-US flights do not have individual state-policies, so domestic-US flights simply land and leave as normal.

What Happens Between Flights?

When a flight is completed, the cleaning and disinfecting process begins.

Where a jet was wiped down and vacuumed between flights pre-pandemic, now a much more rigorous process takes place between missions.

Our sister company, Flexjet, has treated their entire fleet with Microshield 360, an antimicrobial protective coating that protects against 90+ pathogens.

Here’s a timelapse of one example of how our preferred operators sanitize an aircraft post-flight:

Pilots and crew also have special guidelines in place in between flights.

Have further questions? Call us at (866) 726-1222 or contact us online.