NEW YORK, Sept. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Wheels Up, the leading brand in private aviation, has announced the launch of Safe Passage, an enhanced safety and health program for Wheels Up employees, members, customers, and partners with expanded guidelines in response to COVID-19 and today's ongoing public health concerns. The program, developed by the Wheels Up Safety and Operations leadership teams, is introducing new safety measures among others that were implemented at the onset of the pandemic and will evolve as new technology and innovations develop and in accordance with new medical and governmental guidelines. Wheels Up is committed to leading the private aviation industry by adopting Collective Go™, a comprehensive COVID-19 screening, testing and monitoring solution developed by Collective Health.
Safe Passage incorporates the already stringent safety procedures currently in place as well as outlines heightened cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting processes in the Wheels Up owned and managed fleet of over 300 aircraft and for all passengers and employees. The protocols also apply to the Wheels Up approved network of safety-vetted and verified operating partners who are complying with the outlined requirements. The program includes, but is not limited to, the following policies:
Updated Crewmember and Passenger Policies & Procedures:
Wheels Up crewmembers will participate in Collective Go™, designed for organizations to help facilitate safer return to work and reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission. By adopting Collective Go™, Wheels Up is further supporting safety for crewmembers with high-sensitivity testing, as well as providing greater peace of mind and an unparalleled experience for travelers. Collective Go™ offers an evidence-based, adaptive approach, with a scientific protocol developed by Collective Health medical experts and reviewed by former FDA Commissioners and researchers from leading academic and public health institutions. With the easy-to-use Collective Go™ app, Wheels Up crewmembers complete a daily symptom and exposure checklist, manage their COVID-19 testing, and those who pass the protocol requirements receive Compliance Certificates to remain eligible for duty.
Wheels Up will make available personal protective equipment (PPE) for all passengers on all flights including hand/face/surface wipes, hand sanitizer, and a mask.
Wheels Up strongly recommends that all passengers wear masks during boarding, briefing, deboarding, and anytime within six feet of the cockpit while a crewmember is present.
Consistent with local health authority guidance and safety protocols in place with many of our FBO partners, Wheels Up will be adding the following protective measures for Shared and Shuttle Flights:
For both Shared and Shuttle Flights, Wheels Up will limit capacity to six passengers, and all passengers will be required to wear masks throughout the entire flight experience. This includes in the FBO (if required at that location), while greeting the Crew prior to boarding, at all times while in the cabin, through deboarding and farewell, and in the FBO at destination (if required at that location).
For Shared Flights, Wheels Up will limit the number of shared groups to two.
Wheels Up has reintroduced a selection of snacks and water on all aircraft. Each snack will be pre-packaged and individually wrapped for passenger convenience. Passengers are welcome to bring their own food and beverages onboard.
Existing Crewmember Policies & Procedures:
If anyone on board shows signs of illness, the aircraft will immediately undergo a deep cleaning and disinfecting procedure.
Wheels Up crewmembers are required to wear masks while on duty before, during, and post flight. The only exception is while airborne and in the cockpit, where, for safety reasons, wearing a mask will remain at the crewmembers' discretion.
Wheels Up crewmembers must regularly wash and sanitize their hands to protect against catching and spreading COVID-19. They may also opt to wear gloves at times in compliance with CDC guidelines.
Wheels Up crewmembers will refrain from offering welcome and farewell handshakes.
To allow Wheels Up crewmembers to verify passenger IDs, passengers will be asked to either place their IDs on a clean surface or show them from a distance, so they are the only ones handling the cards or documents.
During the onboard safety briefing, passengers will be asked to move to the rear of the cabin, so there will be more distance between them and Wheels Up crewmembers.
Upon passenger request, Crewmembers will gladly close the cockpit door/curtain during flight when safe to do so.
Existing Passenger Policies & Procedures:
For passenger and Wheels Up crewmember safety, all points outlined below must be true at the time of the flight:
No passenger has COVID-19, is awaiting a result for a COVID-19 test that was in response to experiencing symptoms, or is suspected positive for COVID-19.
No passenger is experiencing symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19, such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
No passenger has been in close contact (within 6 feet) for a prolonged period of time (more than 15 minutes) with someone known or suspected to have COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
Any passenger that has recovered from COVID-19 must meet the following criteria: (i) at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)); and (ii) at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared or since the person received a positive test (if they had no symptoms).
Wheels Up requests that passengers immediately notify the Company if the above information changes for any passenger between the time of booking and the time of the flight, or within 48 hours following the flight.
Existing Aircraft Policies & Procedures:
All Wheels Up aircraft are treated with a product called ClearCabin. This two-part solution, professionally applied throughout the interior of the aircraft that works across a broad spectrum of known bacteria and viruses like COVID-19, is used around the world in hospitals, cancer/bone marrow and transplant wings, and a broad range of commercial facilities. ClearCabin is odorless and colorless, creates a mechanical bond with all surfaces, and does not affect the texture of the surface onto which it is applied. Wheels Up planes are treated every 90 days at a minimum.
Between flights, all seats and interior surfaces of the aircraft are treated with a disinfectant-grade product that is on the EPA's List-N of products approved for use against COVID-19 to sanitize and clean all touchpoint areas in the aircraft.
The pressurization system on Wheels Up aircraft replaces cabin air with fresh outside air approximately every three minutes during flight. HEPA filters are not needed since the air is not recycled or recirculated. Clean air comes in through the engines and goes out through the outflow valves.
"Since our inception, Wheels Up has been built on a commitment to safety," said Kenny Dichter, Founder and CEO of Wheels Up. "Safe Passage is a tip to tail approach for maintaining a safe work and safe travel environment. With all of the measures we've identified, including the integration of Collective Go™, we are reinforcing our commitment to your safety."
"Wheels Up is leading the private aviation industry with their efforts and commitment to health and safety, and we are proud to work in tandem with them as they continue to put safety first for their crewmembers, employees, members, and passengers," said Rajaie Batniji, Chief Health Officer at Collective Health.
About Wheels Up Wheels Up is the leading brand in private aviation that delivers a total aviation solution. Created and led by renowned entrepreneur Kenny Dichter, the company offers three membership options—Connect, Core, and Business—that significantly reduces the cost to fly privately, and provides its 9,000+ members with unparalleled safety, service, flexibility, and quality. Wheels Up gives members access to one of the world's largest owned and managed fleets of private aircraft, totaling over 300 planes—as well as the Program Fleet, which includes over 1,250 Wheels Up safety-vetted and verified partner aircraft in the Light, Midsize, Super-Mid, and Large-Cabin Categories. Many of these options can be booked instantly.
Connect Members receive access to all aircraft on an as-available basis. For Core and Business Members, access is guaranteed on the King Air 350i, as available on the Citation Excel/XLS and Citation X, and guaranteed at the category level on the Program Fleet. Core and Business Members enjoy aircraft availability with real-time dynamic pricing backed by capped hourly rates for time flown only, up to 365 days a year and with as little as 24 hours' notice.
Popular features such as Shared Flights, empty-leg Hot Flights, Shuttles, and The Community, an online platform of members-only forums to facilitate flight sharing, enable members to further reduce their cost of flying private. Through a groundbreaking partnership with Delta Air Lines, members have unique access and exclusive cross-platform benefits. Signature events and benefits from among the world's preeminent lifestyle brands make up the company's Wheels Down program.