As the airlines cancel thousands of flights and suspend key routes, private aviation companies are sharing tales from the front lines
Repatriation flights by private aviation companies are bringing stranded travelers home
With airline schedules and operations in disarray, private aviation providers are filling the gap, getting repatriating citizens home safely.
Earlier today, Austria-based GlobeAir said it had repatriated 26 passengers. The travelers were mostly departing from France, Switzerland, and Spain trying to reach Switzerland, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The company uses Cessna Citation Mustangs that seat up to four passengers.
At the same time, JetSuiteX’s JetSuite and JSX divisions said just this week it helped with the successful repatriation of 106 U.S. citizens. Most were over the age of 65, and it was all done on less than 48 hours’ notice.
A really important thing to understand is that I am not a VIP Client, this was my first ever booking with them.PrivateFly on-demand private jet charter client
The passengers had arrived at DFW International Airport from overseas. JSX and JetSuite assembled a fleet of planes and crews to fly the stranded travelers to 22 cities across the U.S. Nine Embraer 135/145s and four Phenom 300s were used to execute the flights.
JetSuiteX CEO Alex Wilcox, who was at DFW as the planes were being readied, said, “Our crewmembers rose to the occasion, organizing dozens of flights on a moment’s notice to pick up and deliver these special travelers ––all of whom are someone’s grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles––to their hometowns across the U.S.”
He added, “I know of no other non-military group or organization that could assemble a complex airlift that quickly. I am so proud of our team and grateful JSX had the opportunity to step in and get these citizens back safely to their communities and families.”
Short-notice private jet charter
Meanwhile, on-demand private jet charter broker PrivateFly, retold the story from a happy customer.
Writing an online review, Mark B. wrote, “I used PrivateFly to repatriate stubborn elder parents who were insisting on flying home to the U.K. on a full easyJet flight from Portugal at the height of the global virus travel lockdowns, on Friday, March 20th, 2020. I am under a mandatory shelter at home lockdown as I am in California, so here is the timeline of their incredible service”
12.35 pm They acknowledge the email request I had just sent at 5.35 am California time
1.03 pm Summary flight proposal received
1.18 pm Three priced flight proposals received
1.19 pm Kristian calls to discuss
1.32 pm Kristian emails to confirm the booking
An interval ensues for formal paperwork back and forth including new travel sign-offs required to state the passengers haven’t been to China, Iran, Northern Italy, etc
2.51 pm Payment taken
3.10 pm Confirmation of flight booking received
6.23 pm Full Flight briefing received
8.12 pm Kristian texts to say the plane has arrived and is being turned around for my parents
9.04 pm Kristian texts a map to show the plane with parents aboard is lined up to take off
Therefore it only seems fair that:
11.25 pm I write this five-star review
He added, “Absolutely exceptional service that exceeded all expectations at a time of unprecedented global crisis. A really important thing to understand is that I am not a VIP Client, this was my first ever booking with them.”
Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly said, “It’s a challenging time and customers are obviously worried and anxious – and most want to fly at very short notice. I am exceptionally proud of how our team has been going the extra mile, taking time to reassure and support, and to provide clear, realistic and transparent advice on private charter options for each trip.”
A survey of subscribers by Private Jet Card Comparisons found 36% had scheduled additional flights due to the pandemic. Relocating family members was the top reason they expect to use private aviation over the next three to four months.