In February of this year, a private and business jet charter company undertook one of their most demanding assignments to date – the repatriation of a group of workers who had tested positive for COVID-19, from Ghana to South Korea.
Following a request from the workers’ employers, the team at KlasJet private jet charter – a family member of the Avia Solutions Group – drew on their accumulated experience to set the wheels of repatriation in motion. Over 5 days and 10 flights (including aircraft positioning) many unique obstacles had to be overcome, such as overfly permissions from fourteen countries on three continents, advance crew positioning and safe accommodation, COVID-19 testing arrangements, challenging insurance issues, along with on-ground transportation arrangements and more.
From initial request to take off time took only 5 business days; normally, a project of such complicated magnitude could be expected to take up to 2 weeks to navigate. To overcome such a tight deadline, while negotiating all of the logistical, medical, and operational hurdles, a highly experienced KlasJet operations team and crew worked closely with an onboard medical team to ensure safety was prioritized as a paramount concern.
Operating a B735 (LY-FLT) across multiple live flight sectors – Accra (ACC) – N’Djamena (NDJ) – Cairo (CAI) – Trabzon (TZX) – Novosibirsk (OVB) – Seoul (ICN) – the aircraft had to be compartmentalized separating positive passengers, crew, staff, and other personnel, to control any spread of the virus. Multiple crews needed to be organized, tested, repositioned, transported and accommodated safely in isolation. Specially prepared and packaged food had to be provided and delivered along with the requirement to dispose of any waste in a safe and virus-free manner. Ground transport arrangements had to be orchestrated in minute detail, and in the event of any unforeseen technical issues an aircraft technician from KlasJet’s sister company, FL Technics was also added to the crew.
The mission, in its entirety, was only made possible in such a truncated period due to KlasJet’s team of highly-skilled professionals. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the team had amassed all the knowledge required to implement unique processes and procedures in a previously unfamiliar environment.
According to Ugnius Valiauga, KlasJet COO, “This entire and complicated process was only made possible and successful as part of the KlasJet team’s continuous improvement policy. Whenever and wherever we find room for improvement, or to gather new knowledge and new skills, our team will come together to address all of the components which could make us even more capable to handle any and every future unique request. Judging by what we have already achieved before and during the pandemic, our teams are proof that we have the operational readiness and the right attitude to deal with whatever comes our way”.