Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Ultimate JetCharters, LLC., an air carrier that the Federal Aviation Administration certifies to provide charter services with a 30-seat aircraft, was performing rather well.
Ultimate JetCharters was providing several daily charter flights for all kinds of situations, including Sports Team/Fan Travel, with the help of partners CharterSearch, the nation’s premier college athletic team travel company. The two businesses worked together to provide college athletic teams with the most convenient, comfortable, and reliable private charter services available.
But that quickly changed, as the nationwide shutdown caused several businesses, including Ultimate JetCharters, to suffer.
“We were doing great,” Ultimate JetCharters’ Senior Vice President Rick Pawlak recalled. “Actually, we were looking to acquire more aircrafts to keep up with the demand.” But, “when the pandemic came about, we had a 98 percent drop in revenue.”
Pawlak, an avid Ohio State sports fan and former football player, said the company hardly had any earnings for two months and it forced Ultimate JetCharters to readjust and become more resourceful.
Ultimate JetCharters had ceased public charter flights for the time being and then turned its focus to the private, on-demand side of the business, which helped spur a positive result.
However, it didn’t hurt to have a little luck on its side.
“In June, we started receiving calls from the medical field to transport PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) supplies and personnel,” Pawlak said. “It was something we never thought about.”
Next, companies who were conducting mergers and/or acquisitions or growth within its ongoing operations were forgoing larger-scale air trips for smaller flights, eliminating hordes of people on planes, and the need to enter large international airports. It would theoretically reduce exposure to the masses and in turn, the COVID-19 risk would decline.
“There was a paradigm shift for us,” Pawlak said. “It’s a shift in the way we do things. We started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There’s always a solution to a problem.”
Moreover, to help customers feel safer and secure, Ultimate JetCharters is strictly adhering to all COVID-19 safety protocols, Pawlak said. Masks (when needed) and sanitizing wipes are giving out, plus customers have to answer a health questionnaire and submit to temperature checks before boarding a flight.
Additionally, private flights for businesses, only carry people who know each other and have been working together all along. And all ground and flight staff memebers are required to wear masks at all times. Plus, the planes are cleaned and disinfected top to bottom day and night.
“Our team takes great pride in not only providing great customer service but providing the best, healthiest environment as possible,” Pawlak, a Clevland, Ohio, native, said. “We’re on 100 percent of the time. I take it every week, and I think it’s very safe.”
While still down overall revenue-wise, Pawlak said Ultimate JetCharters is up 31 percent since its initial decline at the start of the pandemic.
Now that things are looking up, the company will continue to focus on its on-demand flights and wait until the spring of 2021 to restart its public charters, he said.
“We think October will be a solid month, but December will be slow because of the holidays, Pawlak said. “But I feel strongly about a recovery since we’ve come this far. As soon as businesses start taking off, we’ll be ready to go. I feel confident.”
For more information on Ultimate JetCharters, click on the link.
— Jerry Del Priore