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World Fuel Trip Support recently helped a last-minute medical flight transporting a patient needing long-term treatment for a chronic illness. Backed by the APAC team on the day of the flight, three of our team members navigated permits and approvals during COVID-19.

Due to COVID-19, the standard operating procedures did not apply since most countries had border closures, and not all airports were accepting flights, tech stops, or permitting overnight crew rest. Every government agency had to be contacted before and after the flight’s stops for permits and approvals, including the Ministry of Health, local immigration, and CAA.

The customer’s limited-range aircraft created an unplanned diversion; the pilot had to cut their flight hours mid-trip. The World Fuel Trip Support team acted swiftly in maintaining permits and approvals through every leg of the trip.

Customer Challenge

The customer’s main challenge was to quickly navigate which airports would allow tech stops and overnight stay during COVID-19. The airport hours of operation changed dramatically during the pandemic, so finding an airport to meet not only normal operating procedures but also have workable hours of operation that would accommodate last-minute flight changes, was an even bigger challenge. 

Another challenge the customer faced was maintaining valid certificates ensuring the patient tested negative for COVID-19. While monitoring all aspects of the trip, our team communicated the need for renewing the patient’s certificate when the validity lapsed. 

Our Solution

After gathering the flight information, our three team members quickly contacted several government agencies, health ministries, local immigration, and CAA to receive permits and approvals. Due to COVID-19, diplomatic approvals for an overnight stay in countries with border closures were also gathered in collaboration with the customer and CAA to push the approval through quickly.

Our proprietary trip management system connects all departments and keeps all team members updated on real-time approvals. Because the automation within the system tracks all the necessary flight requirements and alerts our team of which permits are required, the potential for human error is minimized when gathering permits across multiple agencies. Many permit and approval updates came in very quickly, and our team sifted through each one to verify the most recent permits to communicate to the customer. Customer communication included emailing all the necessary permits and approvals the operators would need in-hand when arriving at an airport.

One of the most essential pieces of paperwork operators needed in-hand was the patient’s COVID-19 certificate indicating the patient tested negative. The World Fuel Trip Support team saw this imperative detail and communicated to the operators that the certificate’s validity lapsed by the country’s standards and the operators needed to get the patient’s certificate renewed. 

Customer Outcome

The patient in the medical flight received the care they needed within the timeframe given. Our team quickly maintained flexibility with multiple flight changes and acquiring permits from several government agencies. In this case, permits also included ensuring the patient’s COVID-19 certificate was up-to-date and valid per the country’s request, so our team could forward it to the concerned party.

The customer initiated support directly with the World Fuel Trip Support team. After the flight, the customer’s sales executive reached out to receive additional feedback to improve future trips.

“I think that’s what sets us apart from other trip support providers. We are very much willing to deviate from the normal procedures to ensure the customer receives the best trip.” – Patty, Trip Support Specialist

Expect More From Your Trip Support Provider

Our all-encompassing package of services and technologies addresses the complexities of today’s business aviation operations. Whether it's a self-service short hop or a multi-destination international journey - World Fuel Trip Support delivers thorough support for every phase of flight.