Trump's US Travel Ban: Can European BizJets Still Fly to America?

While the world tries to prevent the unnecessary spread of coronavirus, the US has imposed a 30-day travel from all European countries, except the UK. How will this impact operators wanting to fly to the States? Richard Koe, WingX Advance shares some thoughts.

AvBuyer  |  12th March 2020
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Imposing a ban on travel from all European countries (except Britain) to the US, President Trump has acted to try and stem the spread of coronavirus within the USA. The ban is designed to restrict the movements of foreign nationals travelling to America and comes into effect at midnight on Friday, March 13.
The ban covers the 26 European Countries in the Schengen Area including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
How will Business Aviation be Impacted?

To learn how the ban could impact travellers using Business Aviation between Europe and the US, AvBuyer spoke with Richard Koe, managing director, WingX Advance. “It obviously depends on how long the ban stays,” says Koe. “To the best of our knowledge, the ban is until mid-April.
“Whether it’s extended to include the UK is also a key factor on the overall impact."
"For the short term, we would expect to see some European flights divert via the UK (for example, Bristol might get traffic that would otherwise have gone to the US via Shannon). That might get some constraint if it’s effectively bypassing the purpose of the ban, though.
“For now, clearly, you need connection via the UK. Be aware that traffic rules may complicate that as and when the UK exits EASA – though we would hope ban is over by then!”
A source from Air Charter Services added, "It is our understanding that US citizens can fly from mainland Europe to the US, and anyone who has not been to any of the 26 Schengen areas in the past 14 days can fly from the UK to the US, as it is exempt from the restrictions. All flights are subject to permits and crew."
How Could the Ban Impact BizAv Traffic in Europe?

Regarding the impact on private charter flights, versus private flights, WingX anticipates a bigger impact on private operators, since charter flights account for only around 30% of the total Business Aviation operations flying from Europe to the US.
“With that said, leading charter/fractional ownership operators like Vistajet (charter), and FlexJet and NetJets (fractional ownership) will very probably see declines in bookings during the next few weeks,” Koe adds.
Over the last 12 months the UK has had just under 40% of the total of business jet flights from all Europe, according to Koe. “Therefore, a ban on UK-US – if it were to happen – would have a relatively bigger impact.”
Ultimately, though, transatlantic activity accounts for a fairly small portion of all business jet flights. WingX says that for 2019, flights from Non-UK Europe to the US accounted for just 2% of all jet sectors' flying activity from non-UK Europe. By comparison, flight from the UK to the US accounted for 4% of the UK's bizav activity in 2019.
  • UPDATE 03/13/20: WingX Advance noted a short-term increase in Business Aviation flights travelling between Europe and the US. On Thursday, March 12th activity between the two continents was up by 63% compared with flight activity between Europe and the US on March 12, 2019, implying many Business Aviation users were making essential trips before the ban started.
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