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Students stranded in Europe, China


During the Covid-19 pandemic, a travel agent asked us to help repatriate 100 Chinese students who were stranded in the UK and desperate to return home to their families. With most scheduled flights to China suspended and strict travel restrictions making it impossible to charter a direct flight there from the EU, we had to think outside the box in order to assist.

OUR SOLUTION

Route: UK > Copenhagen/Brussels

Aircraft: Bombardier CRJ 200

As we weren’t able to charter direct to China from the EU, we decided to arrange flights from the UK to European countries where scheduled connecting flights to China were still running. Initially, most of the stranded students were apprehensive – many had either booked scheduled flights that were cancelled at the last minute or been scammed by other charter companies, who didn’t have the necessary permit to fly from the UK to China and had then refused to refund their deposits. To reassure them, we shared case studies and photos of previous repatriation charters ACS had arranged and sent quotes for chartering an aircraft from the UK to Vienna, Athens or Copenhagen.

The client persuaded 32 students to proceed, so we sourced a 48-seat Bombardier CRJ 200 that could transport them to Copenhagen at a very competitive rate. The flight went smoothly and word quickly spread via social media once the students were safely home, leading to us being inundated with similar requests from Chinese students at universities across the UK and Europe. By July 2020, we had arranged over 20 flights from the UK and Ireland to Copenhagen and Brussels, where passengers were then able to board connecting scheduled flights.

THE FINER DETAILS

Global Network: Our teams in China and London worked together brilliantly to pull off these charters. The London office quickly provided quotes and sourced a ground handler in Copenhagen who had dealt with similar connecting flights before, which gave the client and students the confidence to proceed.

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