N E W S
BUSINESS AVIATION MEETS
COVID-19 CRISIS HEAD ON
The business aviation sector has entered
lockdown and is taking radical measures
to cope with the major operational and
business challenges presented by the
spread of coronavirus.
At the time of writing the US Government had
banned all incoming travel from European Union, UK,
China and Iran citizens indefinitely and warned US
citizens to avoid international travel apart from those
who are returning home.
The EU has introduced a 30-day ban on the arrival
of non EU-citizens to member states and Russia is
closed to all foreign visitors until May 1. Australia and
New Zealand, India, North Africa and the Caribbean
have also barred foreign arrivals.
Across the world, people have been asked to travel
only when absolutely necessary.
Travel restrictions are a matter of public health and
safety, but some essential travel is continuing, with
business aviation playing a role in facilitating this.
Despite the restrictions and emergency mitigation
measures, the immediate effect on business aviation
was positive. Many charter operators, FBOs and
brokers reported an increase in
activity during March.
Online broker PrivateFly saw a
60% increase in enquiries for flights
during March compared to last year.
However, the company sees the
increase as a temporary benefit.
Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly
said, “These flights are mostly
repatriations – bringing families back
together. We’ve had some fantastic
feedback from people that we are
helping get home. There has also
been a little critical business travel and
people finishing off work, signing off
contracts for deals and the like.
“But in the longer term we are
expecting the rundown from the top
levels of business travel and the leisure
end to be very challenging.
“As in the financial crisis of 2008,
companies could go out of business
and there will be changes in the market.
We are already looking at what things
may look like after the epidemic.”
6 | BU S INE S S A I R P O RT INT E RNAT I ONA L A P R I L 2 0 2 0
“We are working to
alleviate the crisis
measures for the
Athar Husain Khan, secretary
general of the EBAA
Solidarity is strength
Patrick Hansen, CEO of European
aviation group Luxaviation said, “The
big issue is what is happening over the
next few months, possibly longer.
“Over recent years, this is an
industry that often manages on small
margins and we have clients that pay
notoriously late. Combined with an
economy that could be at a standstill –
it’s a recipe for disaster.
“I’m proposing we temporarily
remove the feeling of competition from
the sector. In several months I don’t
want to be in an industry that has been