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ATPI Marine & Energy marks milestone 100 air charters with push for seafarer key worker status

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22 September 2020

Over 100 charter operations on more than 35 different routes have been organised and delivered by ATPI Marine & Energy during the COVID-19 pandemic to date as part of efforts to repatriate seafarers and allow crew changes to take place. This World Maritime Day - 24 September 2020 – the specialist division of global travel management company the ATPI Group is calling for seafarers to be recognised as critical workers in order to ensure that those still remaining at sea can return.

Gary Pearce, chief commercial officer, ATPI, explains: "Prior to 2020, air charters in the energy and shipping industries were almost unheard of. To keep seafarers moving, and the ships they operate that importantly move goods around the world, charters have become necessary. In particular, private charters have been integral to the efforts to get crew home when commercial flights haven’t been operating and international borders have been closed.

"ATPI is proud to have worked hand-in-hand with industry associations to support the repatriation of tens of thousands of seafarers. However, there is much work still to do. Alongside our industry colleagues we’re calling for governments worldwide to take all necessary steps to allow those working at sea to be exempt from travel restriction policies.”

Working alongside industry associations such as IMEC (International Maritime Employers’ Council), FOSMA (Foreign Owners Representatives and Ship Managers Association) (FOSMA) and MASSA (The Maritime Association of Shipowners Shipmanagers and Agents), ATPI has supported charters in all areas of the world, including those in lockdown. This includes a significant operation to transport 15,000 India based seafarers from Mumbai and Delhi to Doha where they could access worldwide connections and relieve others who have been at sea on extended contracts.

Charter activity over the last six months has included mobilising stranded cruise ship crew located in Norway to the Philippines and regular flights from Europe to Angola and Namibia, despite both countries being in total lockdown. A significant number of charters have also taken place between Houston, US and Cuidad Del Carmen in Mexico and crew have been moved throughout Asia primarily into Manila and Singapore. Other popular locations for charters include Gdansk, Gibraltar, Las Palmas and Miri.

Adding to the complexity of crew rotations, the ATPI Marine & Energy charter teams also managed long-stays at hotels for crews to complete required quarantines and arranged extensive COVID-19 testing programmes for travellers. The business is supporting industry association efforts to work with governments around the world to allow seafarers to be given key worker status to ensure that flights can take off and land, and important crew rotations completed.

ATPI Marine & Energy has 100-years’ heritage in setting standards in managing the complexities of crew travel. The team is strategically located in the core regions of focus for the marine and energy industries to allow for both sector and important regional expertise, delivering what really matters to its clients. ATPI Marine & Energy is part of the global travel and events business the ATPI Group.

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