By Fred Vergneres
Flexjet pilots and crews will no longer be dependent on commercial airlines to get to and from their flight assignments. The operator, which specialises in fractional private jet travel , has indicated that its staff will use its private fleet of Flexjet aircraft. A method of transporting crews « unprecedented” according to Flexjet, which was put in place to “protect the health and safety of Flexjet owners and crews during the ongoing 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 President Kenn Ricci, adding, « This is an “unprecedented” method of transporting crews “, according to Flexjet: “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.» For his part, Michael Silvestro, Managing Director of Flexjet, emphasizes that « 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. »
Removing its pilots and flight crews from commercial airlines also allows Flexjet to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations that groups should be limited to a maximum of 10 people for the next few weeks. The operator is implementing this effort, known internally as “Project Lift“, for all U.S. domestic flights as well as for foreign flights still authorized by the U.S. and other governments.
« Decisions about safety can never be made based on their impact on the bottom line” insists 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. »