Chapman Freeborn goes the extra mile to help a business reopen in Ibiza
Throughout the past few months, COVID-19 has caused border restrictions across the globe. Many commercial airlines grounded their fleets due to the decrease in demand, and the knock-on effect caused a capacity-crunch within the air cargo industry. Nothing like this has been seen before in aviation. Our passenger departments are playing a crucial role in the evacuation and repatriation response, bringing people home who have been subject to scheduled flight cancellations.
Over the recent weeks, Chapman Freeborn has noticed an increase in private jet demand, and we expect this to continue as countries now emerge from lockdowns, and travel restrictions begin to ease. Although commercial flights are beginning to recover, it is still likely to take time for them to resume the frequency and availability of routes offered before the crisis. We also anticipate businesses to consider private jet charter for essential travel.
In mid-May, our UK private jet charter team received a request from a client who owned a business in Ibiza. The client was desperately trying to find a solution to return to Ibiza as commercial flights to the region had been suspended. Unfortunately, due to the border restrictions put in place by the Spanish authorities, only the repatriation of Spanish citizens, primary residents, medical evacuations and cargo flights were allowed clearance to enter the country.
Determined to find a solution, Hayden Edwards, private jet charter broker, remained in weekly contact with the client. Hayden regularly checked in with local ground handling and regulatory contacts on the island to try and identify when the flight could be facilitated. Keeping a close eye on Spanish news, on Tuesday 16th June reports began to break that Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had announced in a meeting with regional leaders, that borders would reopen on Sunday 21st June. While this was promising, no official guidance had been released by the civil aviation and the immigration authorities. Despite this, Hayden saw the opportunity to help his client by scouting the market for a suitable aircraft in preparation. Shortly after, official confirmation the border reporting was then received and the flight set-up began.
A long and nervous wait for permits to perform the flight was ended on Friday 19th June when everything was finally confirmed. On Sunday 21st June, Hayden travelled to Biggin Hill to represent the flight, and to ensure the departure process was as smooth as possible. The client arrived 30 minutes before departure, a significantly de-congested London airspace allowed the client to board the aircraft and depart ten minutes ahead of schedule to sunny Ibiza. Thanks to a generous tailwind the aircraft landed safely 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Hayden had arranged for their vehicle to be dropped off at the general aviation terminal before their arrival and it was ready waiting for the onwards journey.
A thrilled client messaged after the flight to thank Hayden and Chapman Freeborn for how seamless the journey was in the current climate. A fantastic example of determined staff and innovative thinking.