The second-largest fractional share operator also offers leases and jet cards starting at 25 hours of flight time
The crew ferry program is designed to comply with CDC-recommended group size limits
Flexjet today announced that its pilots and flight crews will no longer rely on commercial airlines to travel to or from flight assignments but instead on Flexjet’s private fleet.
The company said the move is meant to protect the health and safety of Flexjet customers and flight crews during the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
“Historically, flight crews in both commercial and private aviation regularly have used commercial airlines to travel from their home base to reunite with their aircraft for their flight assignment,” said Flexjet Chairman Kenn Ricci.
He continued, “But, given the threat posed by the novel coronavirus and the illness COVID-19, we felt it was in the best interests of our owners and flight crews to take this risk out of the equation and transport our flight crews on our own aircraft, which have been treated with MicroShield 360, a protective coating that kills 99.99 percent of pathogens.”
Taking its pilots and flight crews off of commercial airline carriers also enables Flexjet to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations that groups be limited to no more than 10 people.
Flexjet Project Lift
Flexjet is implementing this effort, internally named Project Lift, for all U.S. domestic flights as well as internationally-bound flights still permitted by the U.S. and other governments.
Ricci said he is committed to assist any competitors in the private aviation industry who need help designing safety measures for their organizations.
“This change in our business model reinforces two of our three guiding principles – ‘Employees Are the Foundation of a Service Company,’ and taking a ‘Long-term Approach to Relationships,’” said Flexjet Chief Executive Officer Michael Silvestro.
He noted, “While there is no regulatory obligation demanding we make this move, we believe it is the most prudent decision based on the information available today.”
In order to implement the program, Flexjet pilots and flight crews will drive to one of seven strategically located hubs around the country, where they will be ferried aboard a controlled and select group of Flexjet aircraft to reunite with their flight assignments.
Through its proprietary scheduling software and extension of tour lengths, the new shuttle system will remove flight crews from the commercial airlines with minimal disruption.
“Decisions about safety can never be made based on their impact on the bottom line,” said Ricci. “There’s no doubt that this will have a cost impact on Flexjet, but it’s the right thing to do for our employees and it’s the right thing to do for our owners as we move ahead through this global crisis.”
Argus Platinum Safety Rating
Flexjet recently earned its 21st consecutive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Diamond Award of Excellence for Aviation Maintenance Technician Training. It also holds the Argus Platinum Safety Rating, which it has earned every two years since 2008. Additionally, it is IS-BAO compliant at Level 2, based upon a global, voluntary code of best practices with a safety management system, and was the first fractional jet ownership program to meet the Industry Audit Standard of the Air Charter Safety Foundation for Part 135.
In addition to shares and leases, Flexjet offers jet cards starting at 25 hours aboard its Embraer Phenom 300 and Bombardier Challenger 300/350 fleets.
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