Brazil-based Flapper reports a rapid spike in flight requests and projects high demand for April and May. Shares best practices from the sector.
In the face of the growing risks of coronavirus spread in the Americas, the general aviation sector seems to be particularly well-positioned to fulfill the gap left by commercial aviation. Grounded airline fleets and growing demand for less virus-exposed types of transportation might positively affect the sector, prepared to fly business people, medical crews and cargo loads.
Experts point to the fact that general aviation offers 20 to 30 times fewer opportunities for the spread of viruses. If there are up to 600 points of contact exposing passengers to the risk of contagion on a single commercial flight, there are up to 20 such interactions when flying private. For the latter, this includes the contact with the drivers (one for each way), employees in the hangar (generally 2 contacts before and after the flight) and the crew (2 pilots). Air taxi operators possess higher control over their aircraft’s sanitization processes, combined with less-congested private jet terminals, which affects positively passengers’ exposure to the virus. Some of the best practices for limiting the spread of Covid-19, which are commonly shared among the national business aviation bodies include:
- Use an antiviral disinfectant between each flight. The interiors of all chartered aircraft should be properly cleaned up, while any items that cannot be cleaned should be disposed of accordingly.
- Make hand disinfection gel available for each passenger in the lounges, bathrooms and aircraft’s interiors.
- Monitor the health of your crew and the pilots. Measure the temperature regularly.
- During overnight stays, direct the crew to smaller hotels
- Plan refueling in advance as airports might close unexpectedly on the day of your flight.
- Limit the passengers’ contact with lounge professionals, pilots and your charter sales team.
- Select terminals that allow for faster boarding, with limited contact with other people.
The growing demand for business flights has already been confirmed by numerous players in the sector. Latin America-focused Flapper reported a 69% growth in international flight requests in Q1 2020, comparing to the previous period. The company also highlights rapid growth in the average ticket size and urgent last-minute flight requests. Paul Malicki, the company’s CEO says:
“We’ve seen the total number of mobile app-based quotations received in Q1 2020 reach 25’700 so far, versus 22’500 last year. In the same period, the average charter value of accepted requests grew from USD 8’800 to nearly USD 15’000. In March, in particular, as much as 57.60% of all quotations referred to flights on the same day or the following day, comparting to only 28.30% in March 2019”.
The company previously reported a high number of requests coming from tourists stuck in Latin America and it currently participates in numerous missions aiming at bringing the foreigners back to their countries of residence.
Launched in 2016, Flapper is the first on-demand executive aviation company in Brazil and offers shared flight and air charter services.
The company operates scheduled flights in the Southeast region, with 10 high-season destinations across the country. It boasts more than 350 certified charter aircraft on its platform in Latin America and reports more than 160 thousand users registered in its system. In Brazil, Flapper has so far transported more than 10,000 customers.