Life at sea is tough: for weeks and months at a time, sailors are separated from their families and have to do hard physical work every day, while the ship attempts to defy the waves and the weather. Many ships are at sea almost permanently to fulfil their missions. There are regular crew changes to ensure that the crew remains fresh and the sailors have time to relax and recover with their families. Crew members typically disembark at the nearest port and fly home. At the same time, the replacement crew travels to the city where the ship is currently anchored, ensuring a seamless transition.


A British shipping company wanted to make such a crew change on Sri Lanka. While the supply ship was anchored in the port city of Galle, 13 new crew members were to be flown in from the UK. Meanwhile, 12 sailors were looking forward to returning to their home country. In view of the worldwide restrictions on scheduled flights caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the shipping company's managers decided on a group charter flight with Deutsche-Privatjet.

Crew change by jet on Sri Lanka

In order to make the group charter flight between Aberdeen and Mattala cost-effective for our clients, we planned to deploy an Embraer Legacy 650 for the flight. This jet was able to make the journey halfway around the world with just two fuel stops and would ensure a comfortable flight for our passengers. When planning the route, we naturally took into account the current travel regulations and thereby ensured that no obstacles would arise in the landing permits being issued. So everything was prepared for a smooth flight.

On the day of the flight, the crew members arrived at Aberdeen International Airport in the morning as planned. During the thirteen-hour flight, our passengers were able to relax and enjoy excellent on-board catering before starting work on board the ship. After landing at Mattala Rajapaksa Hambantota Airport, they took a bus booked by the shipping company to the port of Galle.

There, the 12 sailors who would be making the return journey were already waiting impatiently for their replacements. The next evening, the shipping company's bus took them directly to the airport, where the Embraer Legacy was waiting for them – with full fuel tanks and a rested flight crew. After months of hard work, our passengers were finally able to put their feet up and dream of seeing their loved ones soon.

On the morning of the following day, the time had come. The plane landed in Aberdeen on time, allowing some of our passengers to make their way to their home towns immediately, while others were able to embrace their loved ones right there at Aberdeen airport. After the flight, the shipping company thanked us most sincerely and praised us heartily for our excellent work. We will certainly be their first point of contact in the future if the shipping company needs another group charter flight.

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