As more and more airlines cut back on their flight schedules due to government restrictions and plummeting demand, NetJets and other private aviation providers continue to offer critical links in these challenging times.
In an update posted yesterday on its website, the world’s largest private jet operator wrote, “The COVID-19 pandemic has created a constantly changing landscape at NetJets. We will continue to issue operational updates as they become available, but we wanted to take a moment to provide reassurance that we are taking all necessary precautions to mitigate the spread of the virus and continue to keep our owners and our employees safe.”
It continued, “While there are obvious health benefits inherent to private aviation, our teams are also working diligently to leverage the full resources of a company of our scale and financial strength. NetJets aircraft and all of our facilities are being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in accordance with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.”
The NetJets update added, “All employees, including our pilots and flight attendants, know that they do not need to worry about their paycheck if they require quarantine and/or medical attention due to a COVID-19 diagnosis. We provide everyone with supportive encouragement so they are able to remove themselves without concern from duty to protect those around them.”
NetJets is a fully owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, and during the financial crisis posted a $711 million loss, however, was able to continue operations due at least in part to the financial strength of its parent. Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett has an estimated net worth of close to $70 billion.
In addition to updates via its customer portal, NetJets noted travel suspensions to Mainland China, South Korea, and Italy are continuing.
Travel to the United States from Europe continues. However, based on government directives, travel coming from portions of Europe will be prohibited for non-U.S. citizens and any non-lawful permanent resident of the United States.
The restrictions apply to those who have been in the following countries 14 days before their planned arrival in the U.S. The countries affected include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
The ban does not apply to U.S. citizens returning home, nor to foreign nationals who are legal permanent residents of the U.S. Also exempted are foreign nationals who are: married to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents; parents and guardians of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents aged under 21; brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, providing both are unmarried and under 21; and children or foster children of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.
While the government directive doesn’t immediately impact U.S. citizens, NetJets said it is following the guidance of the CDC and prohibiting operations to countries it deems unsafe.
Emergency travel will be allowed on a case-by-case basis following a proper risk assessment by the vice president of flight operations and vice president of safety.
Nonessential travel should be avoided to Hong Kong, Singapore, and the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.
For Canada and Mexico, NetJets said it is monitoring potential changes closely, but at this time are conducting normal operations.
Owner Services Teams will evaluate all flight details and request additional information concerning your previous or future travel plans to provide customers with the best-tailored travel advice.
Crew members will review pre-screening details from Owner Services prior to boarding to ensure particulars have not changed.
Every night NetJets aircraft is going through a multi-tiered cleaning program that is designed to prepare a clean and comfortable cabin for each flight. Each of the aircraft is being equipped with disinfectant-grade products for flight crews to perform post-flight and preflight cleanings.
Additionally, deep cabin cleanings managed by the NetJets maintenance team. The disinfectant products used are EPA-approved and effective at killing COVID-19. Furthermore, it is using an antimicrobial treatment on our aircraft interiors that create a 90-day barrier against germs, including COVID-19
All crew travel is being closely monitored. Those exposed in any manner are prohibited from entering NetJets facilities and aircraft for 14 days.
Through its partnership with MedAire, customers of NetJets, staff, and operations are being supported by expert medical advice on the ground and in the air.
To minimize the risk of exposure, NetJets is advocating the avoidance of handshakes between the crew, passengers, and others.
Most NetJets customers buy in increments of three to five years with fractional ownership shares and leases. However, about 20% of flights are for jet card users.
NetJets’ jet cards start at 25-hours. Its entry-level program features the Embraer Phenom 300 light jet. The Elite type card is priced at $189,000, including 7.5% Federal Excise Tax and there are no fuel surcharges.