A global aircraft charter specialist founded in the UK has helped more than 10,000 people get home and organised 180 emergency flights, both commercial and VIP, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chapman Freeborn, which also aided evacuations during the Middle East crisis of 2011 and the H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic of 2009, says it is working day and night to help stranded travellers and expats return to their home country.
Its broker teams have recently completed large-scale repatriation programmes to the United States from South America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
However, its flights have delivered people to destinations right across world.
Neil Dursley, chief commercial officer at Chapman Freeborn, said: “No-one would ever wish for a situation like the one we’re facing now, but thankfully, as an experienced aircraft charter business there are things we can do to help.
“We are currently working around the clock on behalf of global corporations, governments, NGOs and military divisions to get people home.”
This isn’t the first time the company, with offices across the world, has helped co-ordinate a response to global crisis.
Back in 2011 it evacuated 15,000 people following unrest in the Middle East. And, in 2009, it helped co-ordinate repatriation flights during the H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic.
Due to the evolving rules and regulations set at local border and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) levels, Chapman Freeborn reports that passenger flights are requiring very close monitoring.
The complications include crew being held for varying observation periods, countries only issuing landing permits for passenger aircraft provided the passengers are citizens of that country, and local operators being told they cannot return to the embarkation point if they operate flights outside of the country.
These rules and regulations make it highly challenging to bring aircraft in from abroad.
Chapman Freeborn’s in-house 24/7 flight support company Wings 24 has a dedicated team monitoring the situation daily – providing updates to the company’s worldwide charter departments.
Dursley added: “I’m proud to be a part of a company that can respond when needed and provide genuine support. We know what a difficult time it is for everyone, including our own staff of course. Despite that, I’ve witnessed first-hand the level of dedication and professionalism shown by our teams globally because they want to help.”
It also continues to support the battle against coronavirus with cargo charters for medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) from China as well as utilising in-house assets to bring cargo capacity to the market.