Charter Flight Updates: COVID-19
Great Flight is committed to its clients and colleagues during this unprecedented period in private aviation. Our team is working around the clock, fielding nonstop inquiries and arranging as many flights as possible during the crisis.
The information on this page may be updated to reflect changing market conditions, and is our current view of the situation as we continue to arrange air charter services and collect information.
Private Jet Safety Information
The industry has responded to COVID-19 with the following safety protocols:
- Cabin cleaning – All operators are performing mandatory deep disinfecting of aircraft between passenger legs.
- Crew/passenger distancing – Limited or no interaction between passengers and crew.
- Passenger temperature testing – Crew may require temperature of passengers before boarding is permitted.
- Crew/ops distancing – Limited or no interaction between crew and airport personnel.
- Vehicle ramp access – Plane-side drops for passengers, airport permitting.
- Reduced FBO access – Passengers allowed into FBO for essential services only, in some cases.
Our team and partners in aviation are working tirelessly to continue service. Safety and regulatory compliance are our top priorities.
Aircraft Booking Process
Please note the following as you consider booking a private flight:
- Flights beyond 14 days out may be difficult to secure – Operations staff are focused on imminent departures; trips farther than 10-14 days out may be difficult to secure until request volume decreases.
- Expect changes in aircraft during and after booking – Tail numbers and aircraft models are subject to change, as schedules are in flux.
- Flexibility increases chances of securing an aircraft – Flight times, travel dates, and airports within your departure/arrival region.
- Be decisive when booking – With charter flights selling constantly and owner schedules changing, delays in paperwork and payment will only decrease your odds of securing an aircraft.
International Flight Bookings
Please note the following as you consider booking an international private flight:
- Delayed permit approval – Permits have taken up to 48hrs in cases where 4-12hr was the norm.
- Customs at small airports – Some smaller airports have transferred Customs agents to larger hubs; plan on being flexible
- COVID-19 cancellation terms – Many owners are adding clauses to cancellation policies for full or partial refunds for government travel restrictions, airport closures, etc; this is case by case
International guidance is changing consistently, and we will update this section as we learn more.
IATA International Travel Updates by Country
The IATA maintains a COVID-19 air travel advisory page listing known updates by country. This is a valuable resource in researching requirements, restrictions, and general updates for international travel.
Countries with Level 4 Travel Advisories
The US State Department maintains a travel advisory list for US citizens to consider when traveling abroad.
The following countries have been placed into Level 4: Do Not Travel since the COVID-19 pandemic:
- China, February 2nd, 2019
- Iran, February 26th, 2019
- *Italy, Lombardy and Veneto regions, February 29th
- *South Korea, Daegu, February 29th, 2019
- Mongolia, March 18th, 2020
* The regions listed are Level 4; the rest of the country is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.
We will continue to monitor and update the travel advisory list.
How Great Flight Has Responded
- Regulatory oversight – Consistent monitoring of government and industry updates; airport delays, travel bans, customs issues, etc.
- Market monitoring – Constant contact with direct air carriers for crew and aircraft availability changes; this varies by market, but tracking inventory and knowing who to call saves valuable time in the booking process.
- Staffing escalation – Increased operational oversight and expanded on-call charter hours; dedicated professionals with added checks & balances in all phases of the sourcing, booking, and flight following processes.
Our team is experienced and dedicated. We are working around the clock to serve clients and navigate the changing landscape of the situation.
NOTE: The information on this page is correct to the best of Great Flights’ knowledge at the time of publication and is being reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis by Great Flight staff, given the rapidly evolving nature of the international response to the COVID-19 outbreak Great Flight cannot guarantee its accuracy and can accept no liability for any errors or omissions. Great Flight reserves the right to add or change information at any time. Links to third party websites of third parties are offered as a courtesy. Great Flight expresses no opinion on the content of the websites of third parties and does not accept any responsibility for third-party information. You should make your own independent inquiries before relying on any information or materials contained on these pages.