COVID-19: Trends, Predictions, and Our Commitment to Supporting You

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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

On behalf of our entire Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. global team, we hope that you, your family, and friends are staying safe and healthy during this current COVID-19 crisis.

Currently, the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy and industries worldwide, including business aviation! With many flight departments grounded and a challenging ever-changing global list of operating restrictions, the obvious trend is fewer flights.

Headlines focus on the slowdown in air travel and canceled flights by the airlines. Nevertheless, critical trips are still being flown as Business Aviation steps up. Our industry is flying missions that, as you can imagine, are more sensitive, more complex, and more essential than ever before!

We are proud to say that we see our industry mobilizing in some areas like never before. We believe it will continue to mobilize further in the months ahead, to fill the gap of needed, clean, secure, efficient, and flexible airlift for our global economy!

Business Aviation shines during the COVID-19 crisis.

Amidst the fear and chaos, our industry, as it always does, has stepped up. We continue to receive numerous requests for humanitarian medical supply, medevac, and repatriation missions.

We are incredibly proud to have recently supported two important missions you may have seen on the news—the successful delivery of millions of masks and test kits from China to the U.S. on separate missions, one spearheaded by Alibaba Founder Jack Ma and the other by New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft. Our team members worked tirelessly, leveraging our contacts and resources from around the world to make these missions happen.

These flights make headlines because of the principals involved. Still, there are hundreds of others — just as important — that don’t receive the attention but are just as vital. New heroes in our industry are emerging daily.

To help encourage more humanitarian missions, we announced that we are waiving fees for trip feasibility assessments, research, and consultation services for any mission classified as a humanitarian medical supply flight. Even if we have to burn hours researching options for a flight, it’s no cost for any humanitarian mission.

For now, supporting these critical missions and utilizing the combined knowledge of our global resources to keep our industry — you, our community of friends — informed of the latest operational information is our focus.

We know you’re itching to fly based on your feedback. We do continue to see a steady stream of regional traffic and operators flying where they can. We’re here to help you know your options, make the best-informed decisions, and manage risks.

Trends today. Trends tomorrow.

Focusing on the immediate future, the trend we’re seeing, however, is more tightening down. Countries continue to limit who can enter, and most are restricting non-essential traffic. Most nations are now locked down already to some degree, and they are now extending existing restrictions.

A growing challenge, and one that we’ll likely see more of when restrictions start to ease, is intra-country airport-to-airport variances. Airport “funneling” techniques are already happening in countries like the U.S., Canada, and some Asian countries. We’re also seeing more and more countries issue restriction variances by airport, and we expect to see the same as restrictions begin to loosen.

We also expect to see lightening of restrictions in certain nations, followed by re-tightening, as they try to balance between opening back up and limiting the introduction of new coronavirus cases from international travelers.

To predict when the global restrictions will significantly begin ease is difficult. We’re using the same murky crystal ball like everyone else. As you’ve seen from models of the pandemic, there is no consensus, and estimates vary wildly.

Universal is and will be ready to support you.

What we can predict with confidence is that when this is over, Universal will be ready to support you. In the meantime, we, too, are not immune to the economic impact of this and are making tough decisions, as most companies are right now, to ensure business continuity, get through this period, and ensure we’re ready to ramp back up when you are.

When this is over, we will still proudly be a family-owned, family-led, highly customer-focused, flexible and nimble business, with an amazing team in Houston, and on the ground around the world, prepared to support your total mission management needs.

There is little doubt that the world and our industry have more to overcome in the weeks and months ahead. We are confident that, like always, together, our industry will overcome them and come out stronger. Until then, we look forward to continuing to work with you to Move Organizations that Move the World and make a difference in people’s lives in this time of crisis.

Warmest regards from us both,

 

Greg Evans
Chairman
Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.
Ralph Vasami
CEO
Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.
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