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Bizav Operators have been impacted by COVID since March 2020. Here, FlightGlobal’s Kate Sarsfield shares from industry leaders, including Sheryl Barden, on the impact.

“Before Covid-19 typically trips would take a couple of days and involve a hotel stop-over and dinner with clients. Now, senior executives are fitting the itinerary into a one-day trip, which tells you that people are still a little fearful of being exposed [to the virus]. It could be like this for some time.” He says.

Lack of confidence may be a major obstacle to the resumption of corporate travel, but market forces, driven by the need to create new business opportunities, will eventually drive demand, says Gallagher. “You can’t go visit a facility via Skype, you can’t go look at a piece of land via Skype, and you can’t hold a roadshow or close a multi-million-dollar deal by Skype. These interactions are far more effective in person,” he states.

In a recent blog post, Sheryl Barden expressed her concern at the reluctance of companies to resume business travel and called on, corporate flight departments – which often use a mixture of company owned and third-party party aircraft – to actively engage with their organisations to stress the important benefits of flying privately in the current environment. They need to offer “an end-to-end solution that focuses on safety – one that delivers significant value to your corporation,” says Barden.

This is particularly important as corporate legal executives remain concerned about “duty of care” for their employees, she continues, noting that flight department executives can stress that business aviation has much lower risk, with only about 20 touch points versus 700 for commercial travel.

“It’s unrealistic and unfeasible for a Fortune 500 company to ban travel altogether,” Barden says: that’s why “you’ve got to get creative”.

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