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Covid-19: Gatwick based air charter company repatriates more than 10,000 people across the world

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A global aircraft charter specialist based at Gatwick has once again found itself at the centre of a global battle to repatriate citizens.

Chapman Freeborn has already helped more than 10,000 people get home and organised 180 emergency flights, made of up of both commercial and VIP flights, during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Its broker teams have recently completed large-scale repatriation programmes to the United States from South America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia, and the mission has been featured on national news stations.

However, its flights have delivered people to destinations right across world, and this isn’t the first time the 47-year-old company, with offices in Gatwick’s business park, has helped co-ordinate a response to global crisis.

Back in 2011 it evacuated 15,000 people following unrest in the Middle East. And, in 2009, it helped co-ordinate repatriation flights during the H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic.

Neil Dursley, chief commercial officer at Chapman Freeborn, said:

“No-one would ever wish for a situation like the one we’re facing now. But having the experience of previous outbreaks can help in the response, and thankfully, as an aircraft charter business, there are things we can do to help.

“We are currently working around the clock on behalf of global corporations, governments, NGOs and military divisions to get people home.”

It goes without saying that operations to repatriate citizens at such a difficult time is not an easy process.

Due to the evolving rules and regulations set at local border and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) levels, Chapman Freeborn reports that passenger flights are incredibly complicated and require very close monitoring.

For example, crews are being held for varying observation periods and some countries will only issue landing permits for passenger aircraft provided the passengers are citizens of that country. Other local operators cannot return to the embarkation point if they operate flights outside of the country.

These rules and regulations make it highly challenging to bring aircraft in from abroad.

Chapman Freeborn’s in-house 24/7 flight support company Wings 24 has a dedicated team monitoring the situation daily – providing updates to the company’s worldwide charter departments.

Dursley said: “I’m proud to be a part of a company that can respond when needed and provide genuine support. We know what a difficult time it is for everyone, including our own staff of course. Despite that, I’ve witnessed first-hand the level of dedication and professionalism shown by our teams globally because they want to help.”

In fact, Chapman Freeborn has been there to support with solutions when they’re needed most for the best part of half a century. Nearly every emergency cargo and passenger airlift in the past 45 years has involved a Chapman Freeborn chartered aircraft.

It also continues to support the battle against coronavirus with cargo charters for medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) from China as well as utilising in-house assets to bring cargo capacity to the market.

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Furniture Village opens its doors in Crawley’s County Oak Retail Park

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Crawley welcomes Furniture Village who will open a brand-new store in County Oak retail park this Boxing Day.

The new location offers a Carpetright concession, providing a one-stop-shop for customers looking to update their homes.

Visitors to the new Furniture Village store will be invited to create their ‘home in one’, by exploring collections for every room of the house, from sofas to beds to dining.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, comments:

“With much of the UK under lockdown, I’m delighted we’ve been able to open our new store in Crawley. County Oak is a fantastic shopping destination and the ideal choice for Furniture Village.

“It’s been a challenging year for everyone, but I am incredibly proud of the Furniture Village team which continues to offer industry-leading quality, choice and service. As well as Family Retailer of the Year, we’ve also been awarded National Bed Retailer of the Year so I’m particularly looking forward to welcoming customers to our new bed department.”

The store will see a team of 11 expert sales consultants offering valuable insights and advice to customers, all made possible thanks to enhanced Covid-19 safety measures.

These include temperature checks, PPE for all staff and hand sanitisation stations, along with an appointment booking system which can be accessed via the website.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, adds:

“Customer safety is still, and will continue to be, a priority for us. The feedback from all of our existing stores continues to be overwhelmingly positive, with the appointment booking system providing reassurance and exceptional service for customers.”

The store will open at 9am on Saturday 26th December 2020. Opening offers include Sale discounts of up to 50% plus an additional £50 off every £500 spent.

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