Crew Rotations

How Wings is managing the new normal of Covid-19

Specialists in O&G and Marine travel, Wings shares various events and situations resulting from COVID-19 and how they have supported and prepared clients during the lockdown.

Oil and Gas travel seems to have slowed down as some of the rigs have been capped, but those operational have seen the travel of essential workers.

Luis Mata, Head of Business Development O&G for sub-Sahara Africa, shares some insights of the longstanding, and some up to 20 years, relationships with our clients.
The lockdown of boarders affecting exit and entry and the frequency of repatriation flights, have certainly been less in supply and more in demand. Our relationships with the various embassies have helped us to be quick to respond to repatriation flights coming through and informing clients.

The most important and significant event that Mata has noticed is how our clients have, more than anything, needed human interaction. This has brought us so much closer to our clients and deepened a true partnership. This pandemic has caused us to take a step back, go back to basics and helped us, as Wings, realise what we are really good at – building relationships with our clients. He mentions how he has been a brother, counsellor and father to our clients during this time as we watch the world reset itself.

Currently, within this market, crew are placed in quarantine, sent out for two weeks and then rotated back to hotels or staff houses. The saddest part is that rotating back to a hotel or staff house means they are not able to travel home, however, this does remain a small percentage as at least 80% of our clients have been repatriated home.

Chris Martin, Senior Vice President Global Business Development from our Houston office notes one of our largest North America clients for whom we also manage Central and South America, is the first to show substantial travel improvement during COVID-19.

One of the biggest challenges faced, is the problem with destination entry and exit. Several of our clients have the need to rotate their crews but the destinations just have not opened to allow that. We have noticed that even with some of our clients who have crew that rotate every 30-60 days are stuck for up to three months on the project because of the closing of entry and exit points.

Reverting to logistics, we have been able to provide several clients with hotel quarantine support in both Colombia and Brazil. One client has been conducting a pre-boarding assessment and testing protocol to reinforce the measures already implemented against COVID-19. They observe a 14 day of social distancing before boarding the ship – 10 days of pre-boarding social distancing at home and then four days of quarantine in a hotel, where clinical assessment and quick tests are performed.
Wings has been able to support and facilitate the procurement as well as reconciling process of hotel bookings through a direct bill function, as most of these hotels do not have credit card support facilities.
Our duty of care platform, goSecure, has been used to provide daily COVID-19 updates to our clients where we have developed a daily report on all bookings and destinations that comply with entry and exit restrictions.

Daily reports have helped travel planning and destination departure and arrival, where in one instance New York was highly infected, and we were able to reroute passengers through Washington.

To our knowledge, Wings is the only TMC who has been able to provide their clients with these daily updates. Some industry bodies, such as IATA, have a live map which shows as entry and exit for certain countries is lifted.

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