Air Partner - 20 Aug 2018
Air Partner, the global aviation services group, was urgently called upon by Mr John Roberts, a key JetCard client, to arrange the safe evacuation of his daughter and her boyfriend from Indonesia to Singapore in the aftermath of the Lombok earthquake.
John’s daughter and boyfriend were visiting the island of Gili Trawangan, located off the northwest coast of Lombok, when the 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck on 29 July, followed by 66 aftershocks. The hotel in which they were staying collapsed as a result, forcing the two travellers to jump to safety from their first-floor balcony. The pair then had no choice but to camp on the beach until they were able to get back to Lombok.
Air Partner worked around the clock to arrange immediate transport from Lombok to Singapore, which was no mean feat given the scarcity of available aircraft. However, using their experience and extensive network, the team were able to locate a suitable Lear Jet 60 for the journey, as well as secure the necessary private flight permits in just 24 hours, instead of the usual 2-3 days.
However, a spanner was thrown into the works when authorities took the decision to close Lombok to non-scheduled traffic, meaning that the flight had to take off from Bali instead. Air Partner therefore used its local contacts on the ground to arrange a helicopter between the two islands at extremely short notice. From Bali, the couple were then flown directly to Singapore.
Fortunately, it had been possible to retrieve the passengers’ passports from the collapsed hotel but it was not always assumed that this would be the case. Air Partner’s local representation had therefore already spoken with the British High Commission so that there was an option for him to collect emergency travel documents and hand deliver them to Lombok, should the need arise.
Commenting on the evacuation, Steven Warner, Head of JetCard at Air Partner, said: “Being caught up in a natural disaster such as this is a terrifying ordeal, and so getting our client’s daughter and her boyfriend off the ground as quickly as possible was our number one priority. The team worked 24/7 to find the best possible solution and I was delighted that we were able to get the two passengers to safety in such a short timeframe, despite the obstacles in our way. No avenue was left unpursued and my thanks goes to my colleagues for their dedication and hard work in making this possible. However, our thoughts remain with the friends and families of those who were not so fortunate.”
Mr John Roberts said: “I am extremely grateful to the Air Partner team for acting so quickly to get my daughter and her boyfriend out of Indonesia. I never imagined I would have to use my JetCard under such circumstances and I couldn’t be more relieved that this journey was made possible.”
The Air Partner JetCard is rated the most flexible jet membership program in both Europe and the US by aviation consultancy Conklin & de Decker. It offers guaranteed availability within 24 hours and so has often been used by clients for medical emergencies, whether this be a stroke or an accidental fall. In addition, Air Partner also has an Emergency Planning Division, which provides 24-hour global air evacuation planning and implementation services for any situation a client deems an emergency. This could be flying individuals within corporates out of a dangerous situation, transporting support teams to the site of a disaster, or the last-minute movement of critical equipment. Services include priority access to the thousands of aircraft on Air Partner’s books, a significant line of credit to enable “go-now” flights, emergency drills, and general aviation consultancy. The company also operates a full 24-hour flight operations centre year-round (“Ops24”), ensuring clients have instant access to its services, wherever they are in the world and whatever the time.