During this challenging times, when a ot of people had question regarding the present and especially the future of industry. We had the opportunity to discuss how it was, is and how they think it could be with th CEA of GlobAir, Bernhard Fragner:
Q..Simple question – your first reaction when you found out about all restriction and changes due to covid19?
A. That it will take lots of efforts, strength and hope from my entire #DreamTeam and myself to tackle the changes and challenges ahead of us with COVID-19. A great concern ranged from thoughts about the Crew to Maintenance Team and all the employees based in the headquarter. How to make sure that all our employees are safe and what it will take to keep them safe and position the Crew back to their home base. How this pandemic will affect the business aviation sector and if we are going to have to suspend all our operations in the near future. Two other major facts were the time frame of the crisis and its economic impact. During my MBA Studies, I had a focused training for crisis management and that gave me confidence to lead my #DreamTeam through the steps of this dynamic change we are facing on a daily basis. In other words to prepare for survival mode, stay positive and try to make the best out of the current situation.
Q. GlobeAir came with an initiative offering emptylegs for free to help governments, embassies and medical staff, can you give us some details of how it was, do you still have such flight?
A. Our dedicated in-house COVID-19 Crisis Team has played a crucial role for offering this service and it is still available. After the Trump administration revealed the message to Americans dated March, 19th 2020: “If you’re here in the country, stay here; if you’re traveling abroad, come back.” – GlobeAir immediately decided to assist with travel arrangements back home to the States. For repatriation flights special terms are set within the border restrictions to facilitate the return of citizens to the States and also returning citizens to Europe from overseas. We are proud to be offering free empty legs to help governments, embassies and medical staff as well as facilitate the transport of organs and blood reserves during such unprecedented times.
As for success stories: We have supported two embassies in the time of the crisis to bring some of their employees back to their home country and one hospital with the urgent need of transporting organs via Medical Air Transport. The feedback was very positive. We wanted our valuable customers, partners and employees to know that in the face of the coronavirus pandemic we care for them - and that we will continue flying with the highest safety precautions.
As the situation is ever-changing, and private airports are operative in Europe but restricted we cannot provide a guarantee, however we are offering free-of-charge cancellation policy, which equals a full refund, to any of those passengers where the flight cannot be performed due to governmental restrictions.
Q. What in your opinion will change in business aviation industry after this corona crisis?
A. Travel restrictions are certainly impacting the industry and will continue to affect the business aviation even after the crisis, as there are different regulations in every country. There could be a comparable pattern drawn if you look back to the industry developments with the financial crisis in 2008/09. The major difference for the actual year is that we are talking about a much larger scale as the global economic effects in all sectors have left the majority of companies fighting for survival. Within the Business Aviation there are price battels, downgrading to smaller aircraft and reducing the order of new planes on the agenda. I expect a slower recovery in Europe than in the US together with a speed up in consolidation and an rise within the grey charter segment. Followed by a dark time of bankruptcies and insolvencies. Companies will try to sell their aircraft for optic reasons which will lead to less corporate aircraft and a very liquid market on used aircrafts with low prices.
As for the leisure industry this will result in less trips due to uncertainty or the crisis. In comparison with commercial airliners, private jet operators expect more demand as with flying private - customers can bypass many of the travel restrictions, it allows passengers to avoid crowded airports and certain routes will only be available via private jet. More restrictions for travelling including medical tests, less traffic, limitation factor of PAX on board will be the result of after corona measures.
Q. We already wrote about the recovery plan GlobeAir is drawing, can you share with us your vision of step by step recovery development of the industry?
A. We are continuing to closely monitor the development and impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Safety first has been a guiding principle since the creation of the company and my #DreamTeam is dedicated to keeping within this respect. We want to achieve a strong position in the charter segment offering premium service for a reasonable price and keeping flying passengers to their destinations safely and efficiently. The success behind GlobeAir lies on its commitment to improve the quality of life of its passengers by saving them time. We will continue to play a pioneering role when it comes to offering fast, short-noticed and all-round luxury travel solutions.
Disruption to private jet flights is currently minimal and looking at the big picture a significant increase is expected, as people seek the added safety and security that only business aviation can offer. We are certain that GlobeAir is well placed to survive the COVID-19 outbreak, however we have to acknowledge the risks of the economic downturn marked by this crisis.
"These days, things can evolve and change very hastily. We are doing our best to stay flexible, and perform with excellence as we always do...”
The goal is to bring long-term stability to our company and the industry with the following concepts: expansion of distressed aircrafts, winning new customers – due to lack of commercial airliner services and the downgrade of customers from mid-size to entry size jets. We look forward to keep the position of Europe’s leading and award-winning private jet company, offering on-demand charter flights at competitive rates. Many new opportunities are ahead of us and similar to the time after Lehman crisis we will take the chance to learn, grow and embrace our guiding principle Passion into Profession.
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