Covac Global’s new service to repatriate Covid-19 patients is a first in the business aviation industry, its founder and CEO, Ross Thompson told Corporate Jet Investor. No other insurance carrier or membership programme does anything close to Covac Global’s offer of fully indemnified repatriation for those who test positive for Covid-19 while abroad, he said.
Thompson told CJI the service is simple: “You buy a membership that fits your need and should you get a positive Covid-19 test while abroad, we will send a private aircraft to scoop you up and take you back home. We do not require you to be hospitalised first or mandate the transport back home be medically necessary. We say: Get Sick. Get Home. We have a global operations team staffed by top notch physicians and former military special operations veterans and can bring you home safety from almost anywhere on earth (North Korea is sometimes tough!).”
Background in crisis response
Covac’s developers arrived from a background in crisis response, including kidnap and ransom response, security extractions and medical evacuations. The idea came to Thompson when he feared being stuck in his workplace in Mexico City unable to reach his home in Palm Beach, Florida at the onset of Covid-19.
Thompson continued: “It was a huge challenge and it still is. Being in the kidnap and ransom and crisis response world, we had good contacts within the London insurance market. I spoke to a handful of experts both on the underwriting and brokerage side who all told me it was never going to happen. So, after being laughed off the phone a couple dozen times I just started going through the Lloyd’s broker lists starting with ‘A’ until someone would have a serious discussion with me. I only had to go to ‘C’ as the folks at CJ Coleman in London took the call and in the end did the impossible. Designing the programme to have real teeth and be valuable while also wiggling into the underwriters’ comfort zone was very tricky and involved a lot of legal and actuarial expertise.”
‘Big demand’ from interested parties
Thompson said fortunately Covac Global has yet to be called into operation, however the company is witnessing what it calls ‘big demand’ from interested parties. “From Fortune 500 companies and global NGOs [non-governmental organisations] that need to find a way to get back to work safely and still maintain a high-level of duty of care to HNW [High Net Worth] individuals and families who are still looking forward to that ski vacation in the alps. This is beginning to be a must have for anyone that wants to start, or continue, to travel abroad.”
When called into action, if a client is in the Caribbean and feels unwell around lunchtime, according to Thompson, they could be back in New York that very evening. He notes that repatriations from further afield, such as Africa can take longer, but should never be more than a few days. The company has a global network of partners it can call upon for swifter extraction.