With Wings, there is always a way…

As specialists in O&G travel, we share how our Aberdeen office supported one of our largest client’s key workers during the COVID-19 lockdown. The past few months has seen us miss the way we have always done business and how we have used our many years of solid experience to support our clients with seamless crew rotation travel support. The need to provide this support, while always cognisant of traveller safety, has seen us manage travel programs slightly differently at this time.

One of our major O&G clients has had to change the way they get their crew to helicopter for departure to the rig.

Ordinarily crew would be transported via flight or train to Aberdeen Airport for a Helicopter charter. Added to this, this particular O&G client used to be a smaller company of 14 employees in 2017 and serviced out of the Wings London office, but after purchasing an additional two companies they now consist of an employee compliment of well over 1800 employees and are now serviced out of our Aberdeen office.

With various company and government restrictions and with the UK in lockdown, the mode of transporting to the helipad for departure now also needed to be changed, as all non-essential travel was banned and all flights grounded. Key workers still needed to be transported to the helipad and car hire was the best option.

Before they could board, they needed to be tested for COVID-19. Waiting for the results of the test meant that they would stay overnight in a hotel close to their destination of departure. Initially this was a challenge as the availability of hotel rooms was in short supply due to lockdown, but subsequently airport hotels have been opened for key workers.

After the overnight stay, if the test results came back negative, the crew could proceed to helicopter for departure to the rig the following morning.

Joanne Cheyne, Client Service Manager in our Aberdeen office talks of the surge in use of hotels and car hire at this time and notes that since mid-March 2020 at least 200 cars a week and between 60 and 150 hotel rooms a night have been used.

Cheyne also suggests that car hire was the most sensible solution, in the absence of train and flight transport, as all clients are UK based and able to travel by road to Aberdeen Heliport, the departure point for the rig based in the North Sea.

The Wings systems have worked extremely well during this time, where running weekly reports on car hire and hotel solutions for clients kept them updated as far as expenses were concerned.

For Wings it was business as usual as we have become known as experts in navigating challenging travel for our clients.

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