Recent and ongoing developments of COVID-19 are having an impact on commercial travel and the business aviation industry. London Southend airport and Stobart Jet Centre (SJC) are working closely with all relevant authorities and will continue to follow the latest advice from Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The airport's continuity plan has been deployed in order to protect the business, employees, customers and stakeholders. The epidemic is naturally having an impact, but the airport is working to ensure the right steps are taken to limit damage in the short term, whilst protecting its long-term strategy.
From 1 April 2020, Stobart Jet Centre will pause all operations in order to protect its staff, enabling them to self-isolate and protect their families during this epidemic. It will therefore be unable to provide full FBO services due to further reduced operating hours at the airport while the commercial market stabilises. The term of the closure of Stobart Jet Centre is set for the entire month of April with a review into May should this be required. All parties involved with the current operation have been advised accordingly and shall be updated with any further information throughout the situation.
Stobart Jet Centre and London Southend airport recognises that knowledge sharing is critical, not only to employees but to the local community and, with the situation in continuous evolution, they are working hard to implement communications that ensure the most up to date information is available.
SJC MD Fiona Langton says: “The welfare of my employees is my highest priority right now. As we are a small team, I have taken the responsible decision at this time to put their personal health and wellbeing above current business operations. We wholeheartedly expect operations to continue in the future and will consistently ensure our dedicated clients and stake holders are updated with any changes to this decision as soon as clarity is provided.
“The entire industry is facing uncertain times; however, we are in a strong position to return to continue business when safe to do so. We are working with London Southend Airport, DfT and PHE to ensure we have the most up to date information to take the necessary steps as the situation continues to develop and shall continue to do so throughout the closure. I would like to recognise the hard work and dedication of our FBO team here at the Stobart Jet Centre; everyone has been working tirelessly to ensure we adhere to government guidance at all times, and now we are doing everything we can to ensure they are protected accordingly as well."
With immediate effect and no forward bookings, The London Heliport is pausing all operations. The coronavirus pandemic is having a severe impact on commercial travel and the general aviation industry. The heliport, located in Battersea, south London, has been working closely with all relevant authorities and will continue to follow the latest advice from Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The heliport will be unable to provide full services until the national lockdown is lifted. The term of the closure will be at least until 13th April, with a review nearer the time, should this be required. All parties have been advised accordingly and shall be updated with any further information throughout the situation.
The heliport expects operations to recommence in the future and will consistently ensure that its dedicated clients and stakeholders are updated with any changes, as soon as clarity is provided.
It is working with the DfT and PHE to ensure it has the most up-to-date information to take the necessary steps as the situation continues to develop and will continue to do so throughout the closure.
General manager Simon Hutchins comments: “We would like to recognise the hard work and dedication of our team at the heliport. Everyone has been working tirelessly to ensure we adhere to government guidance at all times.”
Harrods Aviation has taken the unprecedented and regrettable decision to temporarily close its FBO and maintenance facilities at its London Luton and London Stansted bases as well. This temporary closure took effect from Friday 27 March 2020 at 1800 local time at Stansted and 2359 local time at Luton, and will be reviewed on 17 April 2020.
“This is clearly a very serious global situation, and as an organisation we felt the right action to take was to close our operations at both bases," says Paul Norton, managing director of Harrods Aviation. “Using the philosophy of people before profit, the safety and wellbeing of our staff, our customers and the wider community becomes our primary focus. This decision has, of course, not been taken lightly. We believe our customers will understand and appreciate the seriousness of the situation and our positive response to it."