This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
NetJets has partnered with North Carolina-headquartered Cellex to make antibody testing available to its employees in the coming weeks. The program augments the fractional ownership provider’s joint initiative with its pilots’ union, NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots, to offer Covid-19 testing for free to its employees through Quest Diagnostics.
The moves come as NetJets prepares for economies to begin reopening, said NetJets president of sales, marketing, and service Patrick Gallagher. “We are committed to testing 100 percent of our crewmembers initially and offering ongoing testing to anyone who travels to high-risk locations, has been exposed to Covid-19, or becomes symptomatic.”
In addition, NetJets is continuing its commitment to helping people on the ground as they return to offices, he said, and he pointed to a recent NetJets relief mission involving the transport of a half-million Covid-19 antibody tests from China through the partnership with Cellex.
The mission kicked off on May 1, involving four NetJets Bombardier Global 6000s that flew to Shanghai to collect the tests. “Within a mere 36 hours of the aircraft departing Shanghai, tests were being administered to frontline health care workers and first responders in Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina,” Gallagher said.
Dr. James Li, founder and CEO of Cellex, praised NetJets’s “leadership, professionalism, dedication, efficiency, and, above all, genuine empathy." He added, “These unparalleled qualities of NetJets enabled it to beautifully accomplish a mission impossible—at a moment’s notice, NetJets moved half a million of Cellex’s antibody tests across the Pacific to U.S. customers who had been anxiously waiting for more than a month.”
The mission wasn’t the first Covid-19 relief trip to China for NetJets. In another such mission, a pair of NetJets Bombardier Global 6000s flew from Anchorage, Alaska, to Nanjing, China, to pick up surplus N95 masks and other medical equipment for Mount Sinai Health System. That occurred in late March.