Words by Victor Co-CEO, Toby Edwards.
Boris Johnson’s announcement to the U.K on Monday 4th January furthered the ongoing adversity for our country, introducing a nationwide lockdown with an unspecified end date to control the spread of coronavirus.
Protecting the NHS is without doubt the national priority and rightly so. We must all stay at home unless excused by limited reasons permitted in law.
The restrictions on travel which we have become accustomed to, as part of our government’s ‘Tier-system’, wipe-away the majority of demand in the U.K. for our private jet charter service. No one should be leaving the country unless for very restricted and limited reasons.
With that said, the latest national lockdown in the U.K. is not an excuse to shut up shop, furlough all staff, and simply hope for the best. After the most difficult year in aviation ever, the resilience of the Victor team is evidenced by our healthy 2020 performance and spurs us all on to achieve our business goals for this year and beyond.
As always, we remain open despite all else.
Our client-dedicated Account Managers and aviation experts are available 24/7 to offer immediate advice. We will use this unique period to build on our relationships and support new and existing clients, brand partners, as well as our network of client preferred aircraft operators who we completely rely upon.
2020 saw record-breaking household savings across OECD countries due to the restrictions on socialising and travel during lockdowns. Couple this with the importance of business travel for economies, I predict that we will see significant demand for private travel from both corporates and individuals in the second half of 2021, as we did in summer 2020 between lockdowns. I am optimistic that the rate of vaccination administration will soon start to exceed the number of COVID cases, and once it has, I, along with many of you, hope and expect to see us bounce back strongly and build back better.
Until then, I wish to highlight both our international rescue service and the benefit of planning ahead.
We formally launched Victor Rescue last spring – a 24/7 emergency and mission-critical service to help the extremely vulnerable, who urgently needed to reach their destination rapidly and safely. Our dedicated team are specialists in repatriation flights, keyworker shuttles and medical evacuation missions.
For our members and anyone looking to explore aircraft charter when travel is permitted, I recommend sharing your travel plans now with our team. When the time comes that lockdowns are lifted, there will likely be high demand for private jets. The earlier you start exploring aircraft options, the more choice you will have of our preferred operators who have excellent customer service levels and are able to offer exclusive flexible, cancellations terms.
In a world of uncertainty, one constant that I can confidently promise is our unique level of transparency which is guaranteed to all customers of Victor. True to our mission, we will continue to provide the most transparent business aviation service globally. We believe it’s more important than ever to be transparent, especially with many clients chartering private jets for the first time. We will continue to be fair and share vital information, including the cancellation terms and the tail-numbers of aircraft, so that you can make a highly-informed buying decision.
As we look to the future, we will continue to offset our flights in 2021 by 200% in partnership with Vertis Environmental Finance. I am incredibly proud of the steps we continue to make in climate action, pushing our industry to carve a greener future. Victor was the first private jet charter company to double offset flights with the aim of taking greater responsibilities for our emissions and is the first ever carbon negative aviation company in the world. In 2020, we offset 45,000 tonnes of carbon. This investment funded reforestation projects across the globe for an entire year which cumulatively cover more than four times the size of Manhattan, New York.
To hear more about how the Victor team navigated 2020, I recommend listening to Episode 172 of the EVA podcast – a result of the privilege of speaking with respected aviation expert Chris Notter. We discussed how Victor manages and controls regulatory criteria, safety elements, crew capabilities, investments in carbon offsets, hygiene, and how we adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic as a team.
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