Maintaining safety for time critical charter projects during COVID-19

Monday, June 1, 2020

With COVID-19 bringing a rapidly changing landscape for businesses globally, many companies are turning to charter flights as an efficient way of flying key workers to keep essential projects on track. Private charter allows companies to exercise extra duty of care for employees to ensure safety, and our expertise allows clients a way of managing rapidly changing requirements for travel globally. 

At a time where scheduled flight services have been reduced, charter also offers the flexibility and reliability to keep continuity of projects. When flying employees internationally for critical projects such as drilling, offshore rigs and vessels, with countries rulings change regularly, it's important to work with a charter broker who is fully informed as to what the official boundaries, regulations and limitations are. We've been working closely with our clients and guiding them through these complex and ever-changing landscapes.

Duty of care of critical workers

Companies are now having to extend additional measures to exercise duty of care of employees whilst travelling to and from projects. With social distancing becoming the "new normal", we have been working closely with clients to implement a range of safety measures to ensure that employees are protected from COVID-19. A new normal for us for example, has become deploying medics to carry out temperature checks and other needed health and safety protocol prior to the passengers boarding the aircraft, working closely with our partner. We've been working closely with clients to provide guidance on social distancing on-board the aircraft, providing aircraft with more seating capacity than number of passengers, which allows maximum possible spacing in-between employees. On-board we can arrange for the aircraft to be disinfected, ensuring the flight crew have dedicated rest areas and are wearing PPE equipment during the flight. Find out more about the safety measures we can implement here

As a global leader in aviation, we are closely supported by Redline from our Safety & Security division, allowing us to provide expert advice to our clients. For example, we've provided guidance on ensuring sterile process from vessel / rig to aircraft door to satisfy authorities about possible impact operating a flight could have.

Logistical control

As countries rulings change regularly, our in-house processes and resources ensure we're fully informed at any given point as to what the official boundaries and limitations are to help guide our clients through. Today for us, this means keeping up to date with route and airport requirements for both aircraft and passengers specifically in relation to impacts from COVID-19 related changes. This is crucially important to ensure clients' key projects remain on track and are not delayed by ever-changing country regulations.

Often, a crew for a key project will involve a mix of nationalities which has become more complicated for entering different countries during the pandemic, due to these changing regulations on entries and quarantines. When transiting crew to and from a project, we've been working around this when certain nationalities are not allowed to go through border control so cannot collect their baggage, we now provide a facility to check bags through from the charter to their final destination, possibly involving a number of schedule flights.

For crew changes there are various possibilities to provide extended time on the ground at the destination, including some specialist providers with the facility to get optimal crew rest in a location without going to a hotel or leaving the aircraft (rest area onboard) thus avoiding strict quarantine implications.

We've also been assisting with permits, diplomatic clearances and overflights when required and have been working regularly with our clients locally to expedite turn-around times for permits and also to get dispensations for a flight's operation even when the official information would deem the flight impossible.

Continuity of projects

The above measures ensure that essential projects such as drilling, offshore and deep sea remain on track, globally. In challenging and rapidly changing circumstances, private charter allows businesses to tailor the flight to their own timetable, providing a safe, efficient and reliable way of implementing a crew change.

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