Regional airline, Bluebird Aviation has reported a slight rise in demand for its private charter flights since the outbreak of COVID-19 due to limited availability of commercial flights and health risks concerns.
Bluebird Aviation General Manager, Captain Hussein Mohammed said while the usual private charterers have maintained their demand albeit at a reduced frequency, some airlines have witnessed additional demand for private charters from new clientele.
“Travellers are hesitant to utilize commercial flights and this has led to increased enquiries on private air charters. Whether its health risk concerns or just getting where you need to be, people and companies that have the means to fly privately, but had previously shunned it, are now looking at this alternative”, said Captain Mohammed.
The global outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) has hit the world of aviation hard. Amid the rapid spread of the infectious disease and the declaration of a state of emergency in many countries, airlines have had to suspend passenger flights and cut schedules significantly, leaving most airlines with capacities below 50 per cent.
The air charter aviation sub-sector has however, proven its ability to adjust in the past and in the current situation and supports the fight against Covid-19 with what it does best: transporting people and goods to where they are needed.
“Charter flights have helped in medical evacuation, airlifting of medical equipment and staff, carriage of vaccines, repatriation of travellers and contributed to maintaining supply chains during the Covid-19 crisis”, said Captain Mohammed.
Research has found out that the headrest on a passenger seat has the most filth. It has been concluded that nearly half of the surfaces swabbed on airline flights contained levels of bacteria and yeast that could put a person at risk of infection.
The novel Coronavirus survives on surfaces for a while. This puts private charters at an upper hand compared to commercial flights given their limited exposure to numerous travellers.
“If you are a person who may have flown privately a few times, or not at all, and never justified the time savings, privacy, efficiency, and pandemic exposure, the time is now to reconsider your travel plans”, said Captain Mohammed.