Many governments, corporations, and colleges rely on PJS and our Emergency Response Program (ERP) to provide evacuation and relief services in the event of a natural disaster, epidemic or other unforeseen circumstance. These organizations share a common sense of Duty of Care for their populations – citizens, employees, students and faculty alike.
When the Coronavirus struck in March, PJS received a record number of requests for emergency repatriation and evacuation services. Our team was ready and willing to answer these calls.
One such success story involves an international university located on a Caribbean island that offers limited scheduled airline service. The school’s student body comes from all over the globe – many of these students are not able to transit through the United States, a logical rallying point for evacuation. When the university’s administration ordered the student body to return home, there was simply not enough commercial airlift to move over 3,500 students, staff, faculty, families, and pets.
Well in advance of this pandemic, PJS engaged in a multi-month consulting project for our client, which included such critical knowledge learned through:
- Site visits to the client and the local airport
- Identifying and contacting potential air carriers with the proper equipment for such a mission
- Reviewing possible departure destinations based on enrollment
- Setting up an internal and external communications plan
- Developing a system to manage manifests and reservations
- Making preparations to arrange such operational necessities such as ground handling, fuel, and permits
That preparation, through the creation of an Emergency Response Program (ERP) proved invaluable.
When the call came to evacuate in early March, PJS immediately launched our “GO” team – a unit of six highly trained and veteran staff to the client’s location via executive jet. Landing at 3am on the island, only 10 hours prior to the first scheduled departure, the PJS team advanced the airport, met with airport staff, screening personnel, ground handlers, and local authorities. Within hours, this PJS team made preparations to process thousands of travelers.
For the next five days, this on-site team successfully boarded over 4,000 passengers, over 18 rotations, assisted with tagging and shipment of luggage and personal bags, and ensured that all Customs and passport information was processed seamlessly prior to aircraft departure.
Thanks to the foresight and advance planning of our client, and the quick and expert response by the Flight Operations Center and on-site staff, PJS was able to successfully evacuate over 4,000 passengers back to their home countries, where they could continue on with their studies safely.