It cannot be denied that the airline industry has taken quite a beating due to social distancing, closed borders, and the many other restrictions that the coronavirus pandemic has produced. Yet, this resilient travel space has quickly risen to face new challenges and has been forced to re-evaluate the meaning of safety while fighting a new unseen enemy.
The integration of modern technology in the fight for cleaner spaces has brought about incredible new initiatives such as London’s Heathrow airport’s new UV cleaning robots, UV handrail technology, and self-cleaning anti-viral wraps that are being fitted to security trays, lift buttons, trolley and door handles. Highly innovative solutions such as this are providing long-lasting anti-viral protection to high-touch surfaces in one of the world’s busiest airports.
The Rise of Rapid Testing
In an effort to open tourism in a safe way, many countries and popular tourist destinations are increasingly requiring travelers to submit to COVID-19 testing at a minimum of 72 hours before arrival. This requirement is creating a surge of rapid testing options. Notably, the Frankfurt am Main Airport (IATA: FRA, ICAO: EDDF) in Germany offers an on-site testing center, which will provide test results within three to eight hours. Testing options are emerging in airports across the globe and are becoming more widely available at airports worldwide.
More and more leisure travelers are turning to private charter air travel as a sensible choice amid the risk of being exposed to COVID-19. The New York Times recently reported that traffic in the private jet industry was 58% of the same volume last year over the busy Memorial Day weekend. However, commercial flights plunged to 12% compared to 2019.
Private Aviation Has Become the New Normal
In addition to enhanced physical safety and greater comfort, private jet travelers save time by avoiding TSA lines and being beholden to inconvenient commercial airline schedules. Unlike commercial airlines, private jets have access to thousands of conveniently located airports worldwide. Security is streamlined, allowing even further increased time savings.
Many travelers appreciate the convenience and increased health benefits making private aviation travel the perfect choice. When traveling in a group, it’s hard to make a case for the expense and inconvenience of a commercial jet, making selecting a private jet the only option. Travelers can expect that private jets will strictly adhere to the requirements posted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since private jets carry fewer passengers, they are at less risk of exposure. It’s also easier to maintain sanitation and cleanliness requirements on a private jet.
Where Elegance and Privacy Beautifully Coexist
The personalized high-touch hospitality of private jet travel makes it a particularly enjoyable experience. Flights will typically serve beautifully presented, made-to-order, multi-course meals prepared by private chefs. Any amenity that would make travel more enjoyable can easily be arranged. Private charter jets will wait for the travelers until they are ready to leave, alleviating the inconvenience and anxiety of missing a flight. The traveler can also ask for validation of the private charter operators’ cleanliness and safety procedures.
Travelers need not worry about privacy when flying private charter. Even first-class on a commercial jet does not allow for the level of privacy executives, celebrities, and government officials require.
With the unknowns of COVID-19, countries are cautiously opening their borders to travel. Dubai, French Polynesia, Belize, and the United Kingdom are a few of the countries that are currently open for travel. South Africa’s tourism authorities have suggested that they will open for travel in September, although it is not yet confirmed. It’s important to be prepared to present a negative COVID-19 test upon entry to a country. There are several countries that are air bridges, also known as air corridors that allow travelers to move freely between low-risk countries. There are currently 59 countries that will not mandate quarantine upon arrival from the UK.
Gone are Those Days
Harried travel filled with hoards of travelers is likely gone forever. Casual, crowded excursions are a thing of the past. Non-contact thermometers will be an essential travel item. Lists of quality, reliable medical facilities near travel destinations will accompany lists of amenities. A return to leisurely, restorative holidays taking full advantage of the technology and access available to live life fully, as intended, is the welcome future of travel.
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