COVID-19 Live Blog: March 18
The spread of COVID-19 is hitting business aviation companies worldwide. Please email [email protected] with any stories or comments
LunaJets experiences highest demand in its 12-year history
The last five days have been the busiest ever for LunaJets, the Swiss charter broker. It experienced a peak in calls from French citizens after President Macron’s announcement concerning the containment measures in France, at 8 p.m. on March 16th.
These calls were from people wishing to return to their homes
Eymeric Segard, CEO, LunaJets told CJI: “In the past five days, we have had the highest demand – in terms of flight requests and bookings – in our 12-year history.”
Following Donald Trump’s announcement of the European travel ban to the US as well, the charter company noticed a 62% peak in flight requests to the US.
European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) postponing virtual General Assembly
The EBAA had already converted its Annual General Assembly to a video conference planned but this is now postponed. It was due to take place on Friday 20 March 2020.
“Considering the rapidly escalating COVID-19 crisis, the Belgian government and others have announced travel restrictions and social distancing measures effective as of today, until at least 6 April. Therefore, continuing to proceed as planned with the teleconference is no longer possible, as this would still require a small team supporting the call from EBAA’s Brussels office,” said the association in a statement.”
The association has a legal obligation to hold an annual General Assembly and will look at options after April 6.
NBAA, Aviation Groups Join in Combating COVID-19 Spread
Read the full story on our website here.
With the United States facing unprecedented challenges from the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has joined forces with four other aviation groups to inform lawmakers the nation’s general aviation (GA) industry, including business aviation, is prepared to assist as needed to respond to the crisis.
“As our nation works to respond to the threat of the coronavirus, we wanted to make ourselves available to assist in any way possible,” reads the associations’ letter to Elaine Chao, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. “We stand ready to work with the administration so that the important role our industry can play in responding and mitigating the many challenges of this health issue is fully realized.”
The groups further note the diversity of the nation’s GA and business aircraft fleet, the industry’s ability to operate from more than 5,000 GA airports across the country and its extensive experience with responding to humanitarian crises, from transporting time-sensitive supplies, medical specimens and equipment, to flying critical care patients and medical personnel.
Read the full letter (PDF).
“Business aviation has always been at the forefront of relief efforts in times of need and to assist citizens and communities in their most challenging times,” added NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Just as we’ve joined together as a nation to face this challenging and evolving situation, I know that our industry is prepared and eager to provide whatever assistance we can to fight the spread of COVID-19.”
In addition to NBAA, the letter was signed by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Helicopter Association International, and; the National Air Transportation Association.
The signatory groups have also adopted “proactive measures to inform operators, manufacturers, and maintenance providers about appropriate coronavirus response actions,” and committed to sharing the latest information and best practices with their respective members in responding to COVID-19, including regular consultations with subject matter experts on the situation.
NAFA postpones 49th Annual Conference
The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is postponing their 49th Annual Conference due to precautions taking place in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, or Coronavirus. Scheduled to be held April 28th through May 1st, 2020 at The Meritage Resort in Napa Valley, California, NAFA’s Annual Conference is now on hold until further notice.
NAFA’s decision to postpone comes amidst what is now a national emergency due to the ongoing spread and impact of Coronavirus. With an abundance of care for its hundreds of members and dedication to promoting the aviation industry, the Board of Directors took great consideration in this course of action.
“We understand the travel precautions our members are taking to protect their staff and communities, and the likely need for a temporary continuation of these restrictions,” stated Jim Blessing, President of NAFA. “Our Annual Conference is a highly anticipated meeting, with an extensive schedule of sessions on the latest developments in aviation and several social events. We don’t want anyone to miss out or be at risk, so our decision is to reconvene in 2021.”
NAFA will remain apprised of all developments regarding COVID-19, including member and government-imposed travel precautions, and reschedule their Annual Conference based on those factors. The Board of Directors is hopeful about the timeframe and will keep its members and other attendees updated regularly.
Constant Aviation treating Flexjet Fleet with MicroShield 360
CLEVELAND, March 12, 2020 – Constant Aviation, one of the country’s largest Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul businesses (MROs), announced today that Flexjet is the first aircraft operator to hire Constant Aviation to treat its entire fleet of more than 160 aircraft with MicroShield 360 – an antimicrobial shield.
“Constant has been evaluating a number of products over the past year and MicroShield’s solution and electrostatic application process offers an incomparable aviation solution,” said David Davies, CEO of Constant Aviation. “Since becoming the only MRO certified to apply MicroShield to aircraft, we have applied the product to more than 40 aircraft via our MRO facilities and we are nearly finished applying MicroShield to the entire Flexjet fleet.”
“Constant has been evaluating a number of products over the past year and MicroShield’s solution and electrostatic application process offers an incomparable aviation solution”
MicroShield 360 is a proprietary EPA-registered, FDA-approved antimicrobial coating system, killing 99.99% of bacteria and ensuring that treated surfaces are constantly reducing germs on surfaces 24/7. Constant Aviation is the only aircraft MRO licensed to apply the treatment in private and commercial airline aircraft cabins.
The protocol for MicroShield 360 requires that the aircraft cabin be cleaned thoroughly prior to a three-step treatment. The first step is an electrostatic disinfectant application performed by certified MicroShield 360 applicators. Second, the application of a specially formulated disinfectant to all surfaces that air-dries within minutes. Finally, the application of a proprietary coating formula that imparts a final biostatic finish to treated surfaces, preventing pathogens from living on them going forward.
The MicroShield 360 coating is clear, colorless, odorless, non-toxic and hypoallergenic and safe for humans and animals. It also has tested for effectiveness and durability.
Proven effective, the MicroShield 360 coating constantly reduces microbial contamination of bacteria, viruses, mold, algae, yeast, mildew, fungi and odors. It can play an important role in helping to protect passengers and crew from a wide range of illnesses including MRSA, E. coli, Norovirus, C. diff, flu strains, gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, enveloped viruses including the common cold and more than 90 additional diseases and conditions.
MicroShield 360 is available for all commercial, private and business aircraft. It is offered exclusively through Constant Aviation, the only aircraft maintenance repair organization with access to the treatment. Flexjet will be the first in either commercial or private aviation to treat its fleet, which now includes more than 160 aircraft.
EBAA “European Business Aviation is under threat”
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) respects the decision by European authorities to temporarily restrict non-essential travel, but calls on the European Commission, the Member States and Switzerland to consider all recovery and relief measures available to ensure business continuity for operators, airports and others in the business aviation industry.
Given the current global pandemic, EBAA respects the European Commission, the Member States and Switzerland’s decisions to temporarily restrict non-essential travel in the interest of public health. For business aviation, safety is – and always will be – our top priority.
In this crisis, one area of the business aviation sector – medical flights – should clearly be exempt from any restrictions, as they help save lives. On average European business aviation operates no less than 70 medical flights per day.
The rapid spread of COVID-19, along with government and business-imposed travel restrictions, are having a devastating impact on the aviation industry, and the business aviation sector alike. It is a significant contributor to the European economy, connecting three times more destinations than scheduled airlines, generating nearly €90 billion, and employing over 370,000 people.
EBAA Secretary-General Athar Husain Khan said: “It is still too early to fully evaluate the extent of the crisis’ impact on the business aviation sector. But we have been receiving reports of operators’ aircraft grounded, airport closures and staff being put on leave across Europe due to the rapidly evolving crisis and travel restrictions”.
Business aviation calls on the European Commission, the Member States and Switzerland to consider all recovery and relief measures available to safeguard our members’ operational and business continuity. It is critical to allow business aviation operators to return to normal operations as soon as possible so they can support the recovery of the wider economy.
Over the coming weeks and months, the business aviation sector will continue to collaborate intensely with all authorities as they work to contain this outbreak and mitigate its impact on European citizens and the world.
We have been receiving reports of operators’ aircraft grounded, airport closures and staff being put on leave across Europe due to the rapidly evolving crisis and travel restrictions