The spring of 2020 was truly challenging for business aviation around the world. However, in the beginning of summer there was a hope for a positive growth, and July showed a really optimistic dynamic. FTC Business Jet Management shares its experience in aircraft management and flight operations during the pandemic.
The main challenges faced by BIZAV operators during the COVID-19 pandemic are in two main aspects. Firstly, most of the world’s countries have imposed severe restrictions for international flights, or even completely closed their borders. Secondly, the customers are afraid of this new virus and eager to protect themselves and their families. After all, no one can feel completely safe.
Life and business never stop, and sometimes it is indispensable to fly regardless any circumstances. In April and May business aviation passengers preferred rather to avoid flights, but since the beginning of summer 2020 they have reasonably chosen business aviation as the safest way to travel that ensures so much important social distance eliminating the risks and inconveniences that are unavoidable when you use commercial airlines and common airport terminals.
It is important to mention that there are no regular flights on popular destinations now. Many of the airports have reduced passenger service, especially in VIP and business lounges. In the next few months, the airlines will not be able to offer required routes. Obviously, this provides the growth of demand for business aviation services allowing operators to find new opportunities. It seems that the time to reconsider traditional business aviation services has come.
In the beginning of the pandemic, FTC offered to its clients cost-effective solutions for temporary aircraft storage and conservation allowing saving up to 30-40%. If the owner does not plan to fly and prefers to wait until the situation stabilizes, the best solution is to ensure a high-quality aircraft storage which will save the airworthiness and allow a quick return to operations.
There is no point to forget about continuing airworthiness (CAMO – Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization). Whether the aircraft is stored or operated this expenditure remains unchanged. It is required to conduct regular maintenance checks, work on services bulletins and faults. FTC Business Jet Management have specialists arranging continuous airworthiness and skilled engineers who provide timely aircraft maintenance and renewals of aircraft certificates.
As well as in spring and in summer FTC successfully continued to make flights for its customers thanks to an efficient work of its own Ops Control Center (OCC). Each flight was, in fact, a special mission requiring the utmost concentration of attention from dispatchers and navigators.
Each country and region introduced its own rules of entry that varied depending on the nationality of passengers and crew, aircraft registration and other factors. These rules keep changing every day. Our OCC have passed a real “stress test” effectively processing all incoming requests.
FTC Business Jet Management have taken a responsible approach to preventing the spread of coronavirus infection by taking all possible measures to protect the health of passengers and staff. The company instituted mandatory medical analyses on COVID-19 for crew, regular checks and temperature measurements, and also sanitization of aircraft before and after flights, mandatory wearing of masks and gloves, delivery of in-flight meals in special closed packages etc.
It is still too early to talk about overcoming of the COVID-19 crisis and restoring of a normal operation of the industry. The world has not faced such circumstances before, and regulators are just initiating the first steps towards the recovery of transportation. The demand for flights is growing and this gives a reason for a prudent hope, but at the same time it is necessary to assess the situation in a realistic way and follow the changes wisely. FTC Business Jet Management strives to be at the forefront providing customers with flights they need and making these flights as safe as possible.