BusinessIQ / The Noders

Irma unites our industry with one goal

21 Sep 2017

Earlier this month, Hurricane Irma crept towards Florida and the Caribbean as the world watched and waited. The result was a mass exodus from the strongest hurricane observed in the Atlantic since 2007. During this effort, brokers and operators on the east coast of the United States pulled together to do what they could. The Avinode system picked up as Irma loomed with nearly 60,000 requests sent to US and operators in a single week.

Earlier this month, Hurricane Irma crept towards Florida and the Caribbean as the world watched and waited. The result was a mass exodus from the strongest hurricane observed in the Atlantic since 2007. Over 5.6 million Americans were ordered to evacuate just days before Irma was set to make landfall. Thousands fled in Florida alone, creating the largest evacuation in the state’s history. Some took to cars and found shelter elsewhere, while others took to the sky, but all had one goal: stay safe. 

During this effort, brokers and operators on the east coast of the United States pulled together to do what they could. The Avinode system picked up as Irma loomed with nearly 60,000 requests sent to US operators in a single week. Traffic was up 125 percent the week of September 4th.

“Unity Jets’ average daily flight volume increased 500 percent two days before Irma was set to hit. We could accommodate all incoming requests because of Avinode, and we were happy to fill the need without turning anyone away,” notes Patty Hernandez, Director of Client Services at Unity Jet

The increased traffic required patience and flexibility from passengers, crews and charter teams. Strangers became friends, and our members worked around the clock to help as many as they were able. Flyexclusive’s Ashley King observed, “It was amazing to see how the industry came together. From our pilots who volunteered their time, to customers moving trips, it was clear we had a unified goal of moving people to safety.” Indeed, in the worst of situations people come together for the common good and show just how much we care. Hernandez stresses, “Operators, crews and passengers went above and beyond. It was more than just business, it was a humanitarian effort.” 

Truly, this industry doesn’t falter under the pressures of Irma, and hard times bring us closer together. 

Those less fortunate are impacted the most, and hurricane season has not passed. If you are able to help, the South Florida Business Aviation Association has put together a Hurricane Relief Fund. Any funds raised will cover flight expenses to bring much needed supplies to those areas affected the most by Hurricane Irma. Contribute what you are able, and donate to those in need


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