The COVID-19 crisis presents a uniquely challenging environment for private jet charter flight crews and their passengers. Over the next several weeks, our clients may notice a number of changes from their previous flight experiences, all of which stem from the ongoing global pandemic and that are intended first and foremost to keep you safe.
When arriving at the terminal for your private jet charter flight, you’ll notice that ground crews, concierge hosts and other personnel may be wearing masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment. You may also notice them keeping at least six feet distance from you, as both FBO personnel and charter flight crews have been temporarily advised to avoid physical contact with passengers due to COVID-19.
Along similar lines, although a welcoming handshake from the captain or flight crew is just one of the ways that air charter operators make their passengers feel welcome and safe onboard, for now that practice has been suspended out of concerns over inadvertently transmitting the coronavirus. They will all certainly appreciate your friendly smile, thumbs up or wave, though!
It may also take longer to prepare your private jet for your trip, as more stringent aircraft cleaning and sanitizing procedures are now required. Passengers may also notice a stronger scent of disinfecting products when boarding; fortunately, while the smells may be more noticeable than before, they’re seldom unpleasant and they typically don’t linger for long.
Once onboard, you’ll find that blankets and other textiles have also been removed from private charter aircraft to avoid the possibility of cross-contamination. You may also find that onboard catering is currently unavailable, as some caterers or restaurants may be closed for the time being. Those that are open have limited options available, so it’s best to verify availability with your charter broker beforehand – and you may want to prepare to bring along your own meals or snacks as a precaution.
Additionally, in certain circumstances passengers may request that flight attendants be removed from the flight, thus limiting in-cabin contact to between their guests or family. However, the U.S. Federal Aviation Regulations require at least one flight attendant to be onboard any aircraft with more than 19 seats – so if this is a priority, be sure to verify this information beforehand. While even the largest, most luxurious and longest-range intercontinental private jets typically have fewer than 19 seats, some do have more.
Paramount Business Jets also communicates with all of our selected private jet charter operators to ensure they follow the most rigorous procedures necessary to protect the health and safety of our clients. Among the questions we ask each operator are:
- Have you flown anyone on your aircraft that has displayed symptoms or has been confirmed to have COVID-19, and have any of your crew displayed symptoms?
- What measures are your flight attendants taking to prevent spread of the disease?
- How do you clean and disinfect your aircraft before and after each flight? Are these methods recognized by medical experts and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as effective against coronaviruses?
- Are there airports or regions that you will not operate to in the current situation?
- Are your aircraft fitted with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration systems to more thoroughly cleanse onboard air of smaller particles, like viruses?
- Do you have any intention of, or have you had conversations regarding, grounding your fleet entirely during this crisis?
We apologize for the inconvenience many of these measures pose, especially when considering the high level of service our clients have come to expect from their typical private jet charter experience. However, we hope that you will understand the necessity of such measures to avoid exposing passengers and crew to unnecessary risks during this unprecedented time for our world. We also encourage you to contact the EFC team with any additional questions or concerns you may have.