The pandemic COVID -19 crises has a disastrous effect on the aviation sector. On 11 March when the WHO declared the COVID as a pandemic, all countries sealed their international borders. This meant that domestic and international air travel came to a standstill. Airlines worldwide grounded more than 90% of their fleet. This inadvertently had a negative impact on private aviation as well, although the risk of transferring the infection on private flight is far lower as compared to a commercial one.
However, private aviation companies have dealt the pandemic in unique ways that have not only helped them utilize their assets but also provide huge support in fighting the pandemic. Some of the ways in which private aviation has dealt with the pandemic are as follows:
1.As the private operators could not carry passenger many operators used their aircraft to carry out relief flights. Operators have been using their aircraft to transport masks and PPEs mainly for Government requirements. In a very unique gesture, New England Patriots President Jonathan Kraft and his father, Robert Kraft, arranged for shipment of masks from China. The New England plane, a Boeing 767-300 jet brought over a shipment of over one million N95 masks from China. The masks will be used in Boston and New York to help fight the spread of the corona virus disease (COVID-19).
2. Further, the private aviation operators rose to the challenge of executing large number ofmedical flights for transporting COVID and non-COVID affected patients to hospitalswhere their treatment could be carried out.
3. In countries where business aviation was allowed, many business aviation firms took the opportunity to further enhance their safety and hygiene processes. Organizations such as NBAA have issued detailed guidelines on the best practices that can be used to enhance passenger and crew safety.
4. Although airlines have taken exhaustive precautions to enhance aircraft hygiene and maintain social distancing in flights, passengers find it safer to travel via private aviation. This is because passengers have to go through 70% less touch points when checking into their private flight as compared to a commercial aviation flight.
As a result of various initiatives taken by the business aviation organizations and private
aviation companies, the industry has not only displayed a lot of resilience during these
challenging times, but they have also demonstrated that they can substantially contribute to
the fight against the COVID pandemic.