The world’s largest private jet operator – NetJets – says flying is now at record levels and it will take delivery of over 50 new private jets this year
While rivals Flexjet and Jet Edge are moving to challenge NetJets with varied strategies, the market leader shows no signs of letting up. In a letter to customers, NetJets president Patrick Gallagher wrote the Berkshire Hathaway-owned fractional and jet card provider would take delivery of over 50 factory-new aircraft this year.
Here’s how Jet Card and Private Aviation Membership providers are enhancing COVID-19 related safety procedures and precautions
Plus, the latest updates on Global Travel Restrictions by Country
Private jet operators are changing how they clean their aircraft and keep flight crews safe. At the same time, charter brokers are implementing new vetting processes for the operators they use.
Sentient Jet will require all operators it uses to treat interiors of their private jets used by the jet card broker with an antibacterial coating. It will also be providing an app for pilots to monitor Covid-19 related vital signs on a daily basis.
An executive with Magellan Jets told Aviation International News the jet card and charter broker has cut the number of operators it uses by 70% so it can better scrutinize the implementation of Coronavirus related protocols.
To provide a quick summary of our continued coverage, we have established this Hub Page. It tracks initiatives from providers who sell jet card programs specific to COVID-19 Coronavirus Health and Safety Protocols.
For a wrap-up of recent program changes related to Covid-19, click here.
Is Flying Privately Safer Than The Airlines?
Covid-19 Coronavirus risk is at least 30 times lower, according to one analysis. The study recorded potential contacts when flying privately versus with the airlines. The bottom line is there is an average of 700 touchpoints exposing passengers to the risk of contagion on a single commercial flight. There are only 20 such interactions when using business aviation.
What Are Current Travel Restrictions by Country?
IATA is the International Air Transport Association, the trade group for the world’s scheduled airlines. It provides a country-by-country guide that is updated ongoing.
It describes the information as the “most accurate source available because we draw on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information gathered from over 1,600 official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.”
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) makes recommendations to air carriers, including Part 135 charter operators and Part 91K fractional fleet operators that fulfill both on-demand charter and jet card flights for members.pri
CDC says operators should at a minimum arrange for private ground transport to move crews to hotels, or to the parking lot at their home base, which allows crews to maintain the recommended 6-foot distance from others.
They should also arrange to house flight crews in hotels that are in close proximity to the airport and ensure that the hotel rooms are sanitized in advance of the crews’ arrival.
Operators should also provide sufficient quantities of alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol and face masks to crewmembers for their personal use.
Private Jet Crew COVID-19 Health Safety
Is your flight crew safe for you to fly with them? While companies (see below) are in many cases adding additional levels of protection, here’s the baseline from the government.
The CDC recommends crewmembers should be excluded from work if they have a fever. A fever is defined as feeling feverish or a measured temperature of 100.4F, cough, or shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for SARS-CoV-2 regardless of symptoms.
Crewmembers should remain excluded until they meet CDC’s criteria for discontinuing isolation.
For asymptomatic persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, CDC recommends continued precautions for an additional 3 days after discontinuing isolation.
Air carriers may consider continued exclusion from work of asymptomatic infected crewmembers during these additional 3 days.
Were exposed to a person likely to have or confirmed to have COVID-19.
Exposed crewmembers should remain excluded from work until 14 days have passed after the last potential exposure.
Several operators are testing flight crews for the virus as well as temperature checks, and other protocols.
Private Jet Cleaning Procedures
The CDC also issued recommendations for cleaning of aircraft after every flight, including private jets. That means cleaning boarding door and attached rails, interior surfaces around the door, all galley surfaces, including drawers, ledges of drawers, and latches/handholds. Even buttons controlling onboard AV and passenger convenience items, tables, seats, seatbelt, buckles, and all lavatory surfaces should be wiped.
If no symptomatic passengers were identified during or immediately after the flight, the CDC says companies should follow routine operating procedures for cleaning aircraft, managing solid waste, and wearing PPE.
If symptomatic passengers are identified during or immediately after the flight, enhanced cleaning procedures should also be used. In a number of cases, operators are removing aircraft from service temporarily in these cases.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Enhanced Health Protocols by Private Jet Company
Below is a summary of previous reports on provider precautions, as well as additional updates. We will add to it as we receive more information.
Airshare is taking additional steps to ensure its aircraft are clean and sanitized by utilizing MicroSure cleaning spray products. Microsure’s nano-technology allows for it to bind to any surface and prevents bacteria and virus particles from attaching to surfaces. It works immediately and continues to kill bacteria, viruses, and harmful microbes even after it dries. It is certified organic and rated EPA Category 4: the lowest rating of toxicity and irritant (safe for humans and animals) while being recognized on EPA List N for use against SARS-Cov-2, which causes COVID-19.
Air Partner launched Air Partner Protect in early March, which helps both individual and corporate clients screen private jet charter operators for Covid-19 protocol compliance. It also provides supplemental security screening, quick response evacuation, and critical updates on regulations and advisories related to your flights. In addition to typical private jet charters and jet cards, it can also arrange corporate shuttles.
Clay Lacy Aviation
The Los Angeles-based private jet management company and charter operator has expanded its CleanCheck program beyond its own fleet, making it available to other owners and operators.
The CleanCheck Standard incorporates the use of advanced bipolar ionization technology and antimicrobial barrier application. It uses EPA-registered and aviation-approved products to deliver a clean, safe, and healthy environment for guests and employees. Aircraft are cleaned and disinfected after each flight, and facilities are receiving increased cleaning frequency.
Private jet charter broker and jet card seller ExpertJet is going beyond what operators are offering as standard cleaning, with a series of buy-up options. Deep cleaning runs from $600 to advanced pathogen cleaning for $6,000. You can quarantine your crew for 48-hour prior to departure for around $4,000, longer if you are willing to pay. Replacing all the drinks and packaged snacks on board with a fresh supply runs $500.
Flexjet (Directional Aviation)
Flexjet is expanded Project Lift from six to 10 bases, and extending the program parent company chairman Kenn Ricci tells Private Jet Card Comparisons. The initiative flies Flexjet pilots to and from trips by private jet so they can avoid commercial airport terminals and airline flights. The fractional fleet operator is also creating trips up to 14 days instead of the typical six or seven days, reducing commutes from home to Project Lift hubs.
The company, in January 2021, began testing all flight crews for COVID-19 before each duty rotation. It also launched an app enabling pilots to report temperature, pulse, and blood pressure three times daily as part of a 10-point checklist. The company is sending kits with thermometers and blood pressure monitors to its flight crews.
In addition to heightened pre-flight cleaning, the company also treated cabin interiors of its more than 150 private jets with MicroShield 360, a clear, colorless, odorless, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic coating safe for humans and animals. The coating constantly reduces microbial contamination of bacteria, viruses, mold, algae, yeast, mildew, fungi, and odors.
Denver-based International Jet sai it has taken extra precautions in cleaning its facility and aircraft. That includes its own private terminal at Centennial Airport meaning minimal interactions with others.
Jet Linx Aviation
With its own private terminals in 19 U.S. markets Jet Linx already provides a way to avoid trekking through FBOs. It also applied BIOPROTECTUs System to disinfect and protect its fleet of 112 jet aircraft, terminals, and facilities.
BIOPROTECT is a water-based antimicrobial product. When applied to both porous and non-porous surfaces, it creates a highly durable protective shield that provides long-term antimicrobial protection. It inhibits and prevents the growth and spread of problematic bacteria, fungi, algae, mold, and viruses. An update on the Jet Linx program is here.
Scottish-based private jet charter and jet card broker JetLogic said it is ensuring the charter operators it uses are adhering to strict hygiene, cleaning, and PPE best practices. All the aircraft we use are cleaned before and after every flight and professionally cleaned each day.
Each aircraft is stocked and sanitized with the commercial-grade disinfectant, specifically tested on commercial transport aircraft. Post-flight, in addition to regular cleaning, specific cleaning will target toilet seat, handles, sink, latches, armrests, seatbelt, tray table, headrest, and stair rails.
Boston-based private jet charter and jet card broker Magellan Jets has set additional quality checks and flight-by-flight audits of the charter operators it uses for customer flights. Magellan Jets said the new protocols ensure that each aircraft is cleaned according to CDC guidelines.
(Updated December 2020) NetJets has tested 100% of our crewmembers and will be offering ongoing testing to anyone who travels to high-risk locations, has been exposed to COVID-19, or becomes symptomatic. Furthermore, it is providing opportunities for employees to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.
Besides time spent in the cockpit, NetJets crewmembers and employees will wear coverings while performing duties in the presence of a customer, which include, but are not limited to, greetings, safety briefings, and cabin service. Facial coverings must also be used by crewmembers and employees when required by local ordinances or businesses, such as FBOs. KN95 masks are also provided for crewmembers to wear while on duty or in other environments in which social distancing cannot be achieved.
By clustering aircraft at base locations where it has a high concentration of crewmembers, it enables crewmembers to report for duty and return home via their personal vehicle or a NetJets aircraft rather than by commercial airlines. Additionally, all crew travel is closely monitored; those exposed in any manner are prohibited from entering NetJets facilities and aircraft for 14 days and until they are no longer symptomatic
Pre-pandemic, Nicholas Air had a division dedicated solely to ensuring its owned fleet of private jets was detailed frequently by way of mobile units that crisscross the country daily. It has now included sanitization and deep-cleaning of aircraft in their duties. Since mid-March, it has also taken each aircraft of rotation for several days to perform an even deeper clean on them.
Prior to every leg, pilots complete a cleaning routine on the airplane and are immediately able to reassure the oncoming passengers of the exact time that the airplane was last sanitized and cleaned.
Northern Jet Management
Northern Jet Management is giving its passengers have the option to bypass the lobby and drive directly to the aircraft at its facilities in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Naples, Florida.
The fractional private jet operator uses an EPA-approved disinfectant that is proven effective at killing the Coronavirus. Flight crew clean and disinfect the entirety of the cabin and cockpit after each flight to maintain a sterile aircraft. After each trip, aircraft undergo deep cleaning and disinfecting by its professional aircraft detail team.
It has also implemented a travel strategy reducing flight crew repositioning on scheduled airlines. Pilots only use hotels that follow CDC guidance.
To protect passengers and crew, private jet management operator Priester Aviation has implemented CDC cleaning procedures.
For charter and jet trips, Priester has developed and deployed a passenger survey to help identify passengers that could be at higher risk to have been exposed to COVID-19.
PrivateFly (Directional Aviation)
The on-demand charter broker, PrivateFly is part of OneSky Flight with Flexjet and Sentient. It will offer clients the option of operators that are part of Sentient’s certified operators as well as other choices.
Sentient Jet (Directional Aviation)
Leading jet card broker Sentient Jet will offer its partner operators the same medical kits and app as Flexjet pilots. Those operators will also be required to have any aircraft used for Sentient member flights treated with MicroShield 360.
Sentient’s current operator certification program uses over 100 million pieces of data covering aircraft, pilots, airports, and other daily-use operational information. It is designed to exceed the government’s Part 135 standards.
The Nebraska-based fractional operator said it is following CDC and WHO recommendations for the crew, customers, and cleaning. Silverhawk Aviation’s entire facility and all aircraft have been disinfected and sterilized. It used an EPA and FDA approved dry fog system by Pure Maintenance Nebraska. This two-part system creates an antimicrobial barrier on all surfaces insuring a germ-free environment for 90 days.
Solairus Aviation is ensuring that all aircraft are cleaned to meet the standards identified by the CDC. The management company and jet card provider is now thoroughly cleaning aircraft after each passenger flight based on those guidelines.
Jet card broker Starflight Aviation said is requiring the operators it uses to ensure aircraft cabin, galley, and flight deck are thoroughly wiped down pre and post-flight with anti-bacterial disinfection wipes.
Flight crews are required to maintain WHO-recommended health best practices and respiratory discipline. Passengers may be asked to fill out a short questionnaire prior to their flight advising on any possible interactions with those infected with Covid-19.
All aircraft surfaces have been treated with EnviroSystems BioShield 75 Biostatic, which is an antimicrobial protectant that has been shown to be effective against viruses. Additionally, all aircraft are being disinfected and cleaned thoroughly before each flight and undergo Ozone treatments regularly. Tradewind has also removed non-essential onboard materials such as in-flight magazines and catering.
All passengers are required to complete a health questionnaire prior to flying. In advance of your flight, you will receive the form via email to fill out and return back. You must declare that you are free of symptoms and have not been in contact with someone who is known to the virus.
VistaJet (Vista Global Holdings)
To safeguard passengers and crew, VisatJet has taken additional steps along with its partners to strengthen safety and security procedures. Dedicated Flight Approval teams work to assess and approve any booking and change requests from a technical, safety, and security standpoint.
The luxury private jet operator is working with leading experts, including Control Risks and Osprey. MedAire provides medical support on the ground and in the air.
All crews are checked for signs of the virus twice a day. Each VistaJet aircraft is sanitized after every flight. Should authorities determine that a COVID-19 carrier flew on a VistaJet aircraft, that plane and crew will be temporarily withdrawn.
VistaJet says, for upcoming bookings, passengers may be required to complete additional travel documents and health certificates. Those who have recently traveled to high-risk locations may have their temperature tested prior to boarding.
The group now owns Gama Aviation Signature, Delta Private Jets, and TMC Jets. It has treated its fleet of private jets and King Air 350i turboprops with ClearCabin. The two-part anti-bacteria solution is used by hospitals, including cancer and bone marrow transplant facilities. This is in addition to its normal cleaning after every flight.
It is also following CDC guidelines for increased cleaning if it identifies somebody who may have been in contact with a Covid-19 positive individual traveled. It has also removed all onboard amenities, including newspapers and magazines.
Click here for more details about Wheels Up’s COVID-19 safety protocols.
XO (Vista Global Holdings)
For XO, standard cleaning procedures have been amplified. All XOJET (like VistaJet) aircraft getting enhanced cleaning after every flight using a high-grade disinfectant and multi-purpose cleaner.
If a passenger potentially carrying Covid-19 has traveled on board an aircraft, that jet will be taken out of service. It will be cleaned and evaluated. Additionally, all aircraft operated and maintained by XOJET Aviation are treated with ClearCabin Disinfectant and Antimicrobial Barrier.
All flights performed by XOJET Aviation require a health questionnaire. It must be completed by all passengers at least 24 hours prior to departure. In certain cases, its private jet passengers may be asked to submit to temperature checks before departure
The guide outlines key attributes of membership programs subscribers can buy now for use in an emergency later. It covers in-depth key provider and program characteristics and policies that are critical for this type of usage.