After nearly a year of dealing with a global pandemic, and despite a new dangerous strain of coronavirus circling the globe, Worldwide Jet experienced its busiest December in more than 10 years. Flight hours for the private jet company’s premier services increased 20% from 2019 to 2020, with a mix of CEOs, celebrities, professional athletes, and groups of affluent families traveling to popular leisure destinations such as Hawaii, the Caribbean and Mexico.
Worldwide Jet President and CEO Andrew Kaufman attributes the increased demand to pandemic fatigue and a desire to travel with a luxury charter jet company that can be trusted to keep passengers and crew members safe.
“People are tired of the pandemic and bored at home. Even if the destination we fly to requires them to quarantine for two weeks, they’d rather escape and hunker down there,” Kaufman said. “We’re also seeing an influx of passengers from cold weather climates who want to escape big storms.”
Building Trust with Innovation
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Worldwide Jet boasts a fleet of 12 jets, providing premier charter flights to nearly 500 destinations around the world. An industry leader in private air charter, the world-class aviation firm was on track to have one of its best years ever in 2020 until the pandemic hit.
“We began monitoring Covid-19 in January and immediately knew we had to be agile,” Kaufman said. “I’m so proud of our senior management team, many of whom have been working in our industry since the 1990s. They began implementing procedures quickly and worked to create our innovative COVIDCLEAN program, which has been so successful, it has become a safety and cleaning protocol model for others in our industry.”
Early into the pandemic, Worldwide Jet had enhanced its cleaning protocols and had thermometers on board by February. They saw what was coming and took a proactive approach, consulting with a physician, nurses, and seeking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and the Food and Drug Administration.
After the rapid rise in COVID-19 in March, Worldwide Jet launched its COVIDCLEAN program in April. A comprehensive list of safety protocols appears on Worldwide Jet’s website.
Testing Flight Crew Every 72 Hours
Kaufman said his team is constantly assessing COVIDCLEAN protocols and adjusting procedures.
“This month, we will begin implementing testing every 72 hours, beginning 72 hours prior to reporting for their duty rotation, and every 72 hours while on rotation,” he said. “As the logistical hurdles of this large-scale program are addressed, we hope our increased testing protocol will be in full effect by the end of the month.”
While unprecedented in the industry, Kaufman said the strict testing measures are necessary.
“As COVID-19 continues to ravage the world, and with the development of these new and more contagious strains of the virus, it is imperative that Worldwide Jet continues to lead the way providing the safest work environment for its employees, and the safest way to travel for its clients,” Kaufman said.
The COVIDCLEAN program has become a key differentiator in the marketplace, helping Worldwide Jet build and maintain trust among its brokers and retail clients.
“The pandemic was a game-changer for us, and now that we have the COVIDCLEAN program in place, it’s here to stay,” Kaufman said. “Even after vaccines are administered, and even after it seems safe, we’ll always operate as if another pandemic is coming.”