Air Charter Service (ACS), has said that it has been overwhelmed with requests for charters relating to the travel disruption caused by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus throughout China and Asia.
“For the past two and a half weeks our offices around the world have been arranging flights on local charter aircraft – everything from four passengers on a private jet, to hundreds on larger aircraft, to 100 tonnes of surgical masks – it has been all systems go since the epidemic was first reported," said Justin Bowman, ACS’s chief executive.
Several international airlines have already announced reduction or total suspension of flights to and from China, including Hong Kong and Macau, to help contain the spread of the coronavirus — which has so far spread to at least 27 countries.
“Some customers have tried to avoid infection by flying with their families on private jets to avoid travelling on commercial aircraft with a large amount of people, whereas several organisations, as well as governments, have evacuated en masse on larger aircraft, such as an Airbus A380.
“We have flown in various relief cargo for the country, including, protective overalls, medical gloves and millions of surgical masks. We have also had clients not willing to put their cargo on aircraft that have recently been to China.”
Meanwhile, ACS said some of the current challenge in booking the flights, include customers requesting crew that had not been to China since the beginning of January, obtaining diplomatic permits and staff from our three regional offices working from home, to minimise their risk of infection.
Bowman said to facilitate the bookings, US, European and Middle East offices have all also been involved in booking the charters.