We’ve been in the aviation industry a long time, (since 1974 to be exact) and we’ve never seen anything quite like the global response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
While news outlets are claiming that the worldwide aviation industry has shut down, that’s not entirely true. Air Link are still flying daily across the state borders as well as many other regional operators and charter providers within Australia and internationally. Our clients have many reasons to fly, and in choosing a provider like Air Link, are making an excellent choice to minimize the risks involved in traveling at this time. We thought we’d take this time to share a couple of facts about flying during the Coronavirus outbreak, for those who are still on the fence about moving from A to B.
- Air Link can fly interstate, despite border restrictions. We are an essential service.
- Air Link are flying daily, throughout the COVID-19 outbreak
- Air Link & AirMed use the strictest of hygiene standards, we are partners with NSW Health.
Fact: The less contact points, the better!
Flying privately means just that. It’s just our pilot, you, and the people you choose to fly with. Airports are big places and although they might be empty right now (more on that in fact 2), are filled with hundreds, maybe thousands of people. Airliners are filled with hundreds of people too, and who knows who sat in that seat before you? Did the cleaners really clean every piece of every one of the 150+ seats on that Boeing 737’s 30 minute turnaround? Did the check-in staff touch someone else’s phone right before they grabbed yours to scan your boarding pass? OK ok, we’ll stop. You get it. Airports, and airliners are by nature, prone to thousands of contact points.
Let’s compare that to a private flight, where you can literally drive right to the aircraft you’ve chosen to charter. Between your car and that plane, you don’t have to touch a thing. We don’t have boarding passes, we don’t check luggage, it’s just you, and your pilots; and your pilot is not sick (like most others, we have a strict policies in place regarding this). Step on board our aircraft, where capacities vary between 4 – 9 seats, and we have plenty of time to clean EVERY part of those cabins (and we do, every time). What about the air conditioning system you say? No problem, we’ll explain that in Fact 3. Did we mention we use our own private terminals at major airports around Australia too? That means only a handful of contacts during the entire travel process.
Fact: Major Airlines and Airports are not reliable right now.
If you are choosing to fly right now, we understand you have a compelling reason to do so. We don’t need to know your reason, but we’re pretty sure that you want to actually arrive at your destination! We don’t cancel charter flights because seats aren’t filled. We don’t delay flights to wait for anyone (except you of course!), and we certainly don’t cancel flights because our airline is shutting down. Flying exceptional people, in exceptional circumstances is what we do, and we do it well. You can rely on us to get you there.
Fact: Pressurized Aircraft pose no risk to Coronavirus infection.
We hear the myth all the time that pressurized aircraft recirculate the same air around and around the cabin, slowly infecting all occupants with the same virus. This is NOT true. Cabins in small aircraft don’t actually hold that much air, and the way the system works is to push filtered air from the engines into the cabin to heat, cool, and pressurize it. That air doesn’t actually stick around for long, because it quickly gets released at the back of the aircraft through something called the outflow valve. Because the air is being fed in at such a high volume from the engines, it also flows back out quickly, leaving the occupants with an entirely fresh cabin every 1-3 minutes (depending on the aircraft size).
What about unpressurized aircraft you ask? We fly those too, (our Cessna 310’s, and Piper Chieftains are unpressurized) and those cabins have similar air refresh rates thanks to a different system. Unpressurized aircraft have vents in the nose which funnel fresh, cool air into the cabin at a rate proportional to the aircraft’s airspeed (let’s say….. 300kmph). It’s obviously slowed down as it passes through the vents, but there’s still a LOT of air coming into the cabin. That air has to go somewhere, so there’s specially designed vents in the tail which allow the air to escape out the back of the aircraft. The refresh rate is similar; 1-3 minutes and the entire cabin’s air in your charter aircraft will have been replaced.
Fact: Air Link is not shutting down. Or going broke.
We’d like to share a little background about our company, and let you know that we’re here and very determined to stay. Air Link is part of a larger group – Aviation Logistics; which is an Australian-owned and run collective of general aviation companies. Together, we operate flights across Australia, in every aspect of aviation including aeromedical (which is pretty busy right now), charter, scheduled services, freight & mail delivery flights, and government funded flights to community hubs in outback Australia. We’re diverse. We’re Australian. We’re well resourced (60+ aircraft). We’re backed by government and regional council groups, and most importantly, we’re united in providing exceptional service during exceptional circumstances.
Air Link are part of a group of general aviation companies reaching out to the NSW and Federal governments for assistance right now. This is true, and well published in the media right now. We are doing this to stand united with other members of the aviation community who are doing it tough right now. Our business is more agile than others, but with some assistance, we might just be able to keep more of our pilots employed and ready to fly you on your mission.
Fact: Air Link is about saying ‘yes’.
In all our years of flying in regional NSW, we’ve had a mantra of saying yes to our clients. We’re all about working out a way to make a flight happen. Whether it’s a tricky time of day, a lot of luggage, or multiple stops over multiple days. Even global pandemics and zombie apocalypses. Where others may say ‘too hard’, ‘can’t be done’, or simply ‘no’ – we’ll work out a safe way to make it happen. Our clients can vouch for that!
Give the team a call to discuss your charter requirements at any time. We’re always available and have our aircraft and crews are ready to go right now. Literally anywhere in Australia is within reach for us and our fleet (check them on our website). We would love Air Link to be part of your story and you part of ours during this unparalleled time in aviation.
And, perhaps most importantly of all, stay safe and take every precaution you can during this unprecedented event.