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The complexity of evacuations during COVID-19 and beyond



How CWT is solving new challenges to keep employees mobilized during the pandemic

During COVID-19, CWT has been helping energy, resource and marine (ERM) companies relocate, evacuate and mobilize employees and their families from all parts of the world. From relocating a global energy company’s 500 personnel from multiple countries to repatriating a flight surgeon from Russia, we’ve been working with clients to find solutions to the many challenges brought about by the pandemic. In a unique sector requiring unique solutions, many are making changes to the way they do business today, and into the future in an effort to keep employees mobilized and operations active.

Act fast, be agile

The fluidity of the pandemic and the need for countries and territories to apply fast, far reaching decisions on border restrictions has seen ERM companies react with agility and speed. Whether moving entire families to new locations ahead of border closures, working with airlines to replace canceled commercial routes with charters, or sourcing appropriate long stay accommodation for employees, organizations have been developing new agile solutions to keep operations moving.


Employee wellbeing – the new priorities

With the health and wellness of employees a priority, organizations are having to consider all aspects of the traveler’s journey - from applying social distancing rules on charter flights, ensuring employees abide by local quarantine regulations, to implementing on-site hygiene practices. The sector is also having to consider new factors potentially impacting site operations, including the ability for a country’s health system to withstand the pandemic. Safety of employees now extends past that which the employer can control and the long-term impact on site-operations and efficiencies is yet unclear.


Coming home is not always possible

Someone’s primary residence is not always their country of citizenship and many people around the world, particularly those in long-term overseas postings, may call a foreign country their home. In families with mixed citizenship, where partners or children may not have corresponding nationalities and documentation, border closures to all except citizens and residents added new complexities during COVID-19. Combine this with the speed required to implement evacuations, simple issues became complex puzzles requiring families to consider unforeseen solutions.


Commercial versus charter – a new schedule

With the ongoing cancelation of commercial flights and the grounding of fleets, charter flights are fast becoming the now normal. However, sourcing, implementation of social distancing, booking processes, charter sharing, itineraries, and flight manifests, must all be carefully managed.

We are extremely proud to be working with our customers to deliver new processes and policies that help them prepare for the now, and future, of ERM travel.

Author: Anne Bridgman, Director, CWT ERM Customer Group.




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