Specialist travel management company ATPI Marine & Energy is working with the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) to help seafarers return home, or continue to travel to ships, during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The initiative sees ATPI Marine & Energy work alongside IMEC members, industry bodies and regulators in an example of the unprecedented efforts required to ensure seafarers are able to travel around the world when there are almost no scheduled flights operating. Safeguarding the travel of ship’s crew is essential to keep global cargo moving.
Using travel industry expertise and the knowledge of the most required port-connecting routes, ATPI Marine & Energy supports global marine companies in finding the most efficient options to allow seafarers to get where they are needed, whether that’s via traditional airline routes or charters.
Gary Pearce, Chief Commercial Officer, ATPI, said: “Global commerce has to continue, and goods need to move around the world. This means ship crews must be able to reach their vessels, and return home after long periods offshore. With most airlines grounded, the maritime industry is cleverly working together to ensure that seafarers can move in order to ensure the safe travel of their people, and that ships operate safely with adequate crew.”
The partnership with IMEC opens out the industry collaboration yet further. In addition to the clients of ATPI Marine & Energy, the 250 members of IMEC also now have access to seats on specially chartered flights (socially distanced if required) and scheduled flights as airlines scale-up their operations. It is cost prohibitive for one business to charter a flight for a crew rotation. However, with careful logistics planning from crew travel experts such as ATPI Marine & Energy, maritime businesses are coming together to solve an industry crisis.
Mr Pearce added: “We hope that by ensuring there are flights to the world’s busiest port cities that seafarers from many different shipping companies can continue to carry out their essential work and, importantly, return home afterwards. The industry is also working together to encourage airlines to prioritise returning to operation some of the most popular routes for the maritime sector.”
The expertise of ATPI Marine & Energy ensures that charter flights are operating to the strictest health and safety standards to protect seafarer wellbeing, both during their transit and when offshore. This includes providing guidance on quarantine requirements and medical assessments, and working with border agencies around the world to ensure seafarers can travel to meet their ships.