The extreme positions, both literally and metaphorically, that the coronavirus has put many superyacht crew in has resulted in an understandable surge of movement to repatriate them, but also to return them back aboard their yachts, depending on the needs of the vessel.
SuperyachtNews spoke to Global Marine Travel (GMT) about the current situation, and how the demands from so many crew are being catered for, as well as an insight into our peer industry, private aviation…
“The spike in activity [regarding repatriating crew] began immediately after the United States Presidential Travel Restrictions were announced,” begins Tim Davey, Founder and Managing Director at GMT. “It has reached the peak of the bell-curve and we are still booking flights wherever it’s feasible, based on the tightening international security measures in tandem with the operating airline schedules which change in accordance to those."
“It has reached the peak of the bell-curve and we are still booking flights wherever it’s feasible, based on the tightening international security measures in tandem with the operating airline schedules which change in accordance to those" - Tim Davey, Founder & Managing Director, GMT
GMT is maintaining a ‘24-hour, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year’ working approach to help its regular clients as well as anyone in the maritime industry requiring it, even if this is simply providing information, during this difficult time. “It’s crucial, given all the different news, rumours and gossip, that our management filters this out and can then [distribute] credible information unilaterally, in a timely manner, as this is what they advise our clients, so managing that component remains key.”
When looking at the wider maritime industry and its response to the current global pandemic, GMT believes that there is an increasingly strong sense of community developing among the industry, which is coming together and collectively working its way through the storm. “This applies to the vessels, management companies, chandlers, brokers, all shore-support entities, and of course, the crew themselves. Businesses understand the reliance we all have upon each other, as it relates to everyone’s wellbeing, financially as well as personally,” Davey comments.
Much like the yachting industry, whereby pleasure yachts slowly saw the same regulations imposed upon them as larger commercial vessels, regulations that were initially laid out for commercial airlines are now in place for privately-owned aircraft, according to GMT, and this is something that superyacht owners may wish to take heed of...
Much like the yachting industry, whereby pleasure yachts slowly saw the same regulations imposed upon them as larger commercial vessels, regulations that were initially laid out for commercial airlines are now in place for privately-owned aircraft, according to GMT, and this is something that superyacht owners may wish to take heed of. “We fielded a number of requests for charter aircraft on behalf of our clients for personnel movement; individuals as well as large groups. Now, for the most part, the same restrictions placed on commercial airliners have been extended to include private aircraft, because it’s not sensible allowing the Boss to land his G4 where a United 737 cannot. We are in regular communications with local FBOs who are providing cargo relief flights, which thankfully, remain largely unaffected and are crucial to providing supplies and transporting medical/disaster relief personnel to affected areas.”
International governments have been continuing to urge their citizens/residents to return home or be prepared to stay abroad for an extended period of time. While there are currently no locations providing safe havens/refuge to foreign nationals, according to GMT, this is understandable due to the fact that infrastructure and logistics are already being maxed-out in order to provide adequate care and necessities for their own citizens.
In order to find a central source of information for captains, crew and industry wanting to travel in the coming weeks and months, alongside checking the government website of your current location, and using IATA’s International Travel Document News for flight information, GMT is also receiving regular updates from its partners at WorldAware, an intelligence-driven, integrated risk management solutions business, which can be found here.
For now, GMT is continuing with its operations, and beginning preparations for when circumstances get back to ‘normal’. “As the tide goes out, it always rolls back in and we will be ready as travel restrictions are reduced and airline schedules increase,” concludes Davey.
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