The second-largest fractional fleet operator is testing its 830 flight crew members for COVID-19 before each tour of duty
Flexjet said in January it will begin to test flight crew members for COVID-19 before each tour of duty.
Developed by a Rutgers University laboratory called RUCDR Infinite Biologics and administered by Vault Health, this at-home test is a PCR based test that utilizes a saliva sample. PCR tests are known for their ability to detect small amounts of the virus’s genetic material directly.
“From the very beginning of the pandemic, we have taken every possible step to ensure the health and well-being of our Owners and our flight crews,” said Flexjet CEO Michael Silvestro.
He added, “This announcement represents the next evolution of our overall strategy and will provide a key bridge while we wait for the large scale rollout of the various vaccine programs.”
Flexjet has been aggressive in identifying creative solutions to continue operations while respecting COVID-19 regulations around the world. In March, Flexjet treated all of its private jet interiors with MicroShield 360. The FDA-approved antimicrobial coating system kills 99.99% of bacteria and protects surfaces for a year. Flexjet also treated all of its facilities with MicroShield 360.
Flexjet Project Lift
Simultaneously, Flexjet launched Project Lift to ferry its flight crews to their assignments. The move allows them to avoid the commercial airline environment. The operation is planned to continue operations into 2021.
Current flight crew protocols that include individual monitoring of health and the wearing of masks while on duty.
“I have been very impressed by all of the adaptions our flight crews have made during this pandemic,” Silvestro said. “They truly exemplify a strength of character, and it’s at the core of what makes our company great.”
The tests start in January. They will be administered under medical supervision via a telehealth video call to ensure that the sample is collected correctly.
Should any flight crewmember test positive, they will be paid their full salary for the duration of their quarantine without needing to tap into any PTO days. And medical follow-up assistance will be provided as needed.
“This is not about dollars and cents, but about health,” Silvestro said. “The safety, health, and well-being of our clients and that of our flight crews is our priority, and it is at the core of our operations.”