COVID-19 Policy

COVID-19 ‘Coronavirus’ Company Operational Policy

This information documents Kirkhope Aviation's (which also trades as Australian Air Safaris) response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and provides guidance in dealing with how the virus may impact travel for passengers booked with us.

Notwithstanding that the current level of community transmission of COVID-19 is extremely low, we do take health and wellbeing seriously and are taking pro-active measures. This policy is valid at the time of writing and has been updated since the initial issue in March.

Upcoming Tours:

  • Any passenger who cannot travel due to COVID-19 considerations, will be permitted to defer their travel to another tour date without charge. They may also elect to receive a credit of the amount paid, to be put towards a different tour with the company at a future date.  We also offer to refund the balance of the tour and  hold the 10% deposit as a credit for rebooking your tour.
  • The company is currently requesting all passengers for multi-day air tours to take a RAT (Rapid Antigen Test) within 24 hours of departure and record the result by taking a photo of the result with some form of identification, such a a drivers licence.
  • For any tour that is cancelled due to COVID-19 considerations by Australian Air Safaris, all passengers will receive a full credit for all monies paid
  • If Australian Air Safaris cannot operate the tour due to insufficient passenger numbers, lockdown of destinations or other situations that prohibit the successful operation of the tour, the tour will be rescheduled for a later date and passengers will receive a credit for the full amount paid, or balance refunded and deposit held as a credit.
  • Passengers electing to cancel their tour with us will be offered a refund in accordance with our normal cancellation policy.
  • As with all tours and charters, passengers are encouraged to take out travel insurance  at the time of booking. These recommendations are to protect passengers if they are forced to cancel on medical grounds or if they require emergency retrieval or services in a remote part of Australia. Note that some policies may not cover pandemics.

On Tour protocols:

Company precautions:

Australian Air Safaris is taking the following precautions to guard against COVID-19 transmission:

  • The Company is being guided by ICAO’s Takeoff: Guidance for Air Travel through the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis
  • Company pilots and staff will be stood down from duty should they have confirmed contact with a person who has tested positive to COVID-19, or have themselves tested positive to COVID-19 in the previous two weeks before a charter or tour
  • Company pilots and staff have been advised on appropriate handwashing and hygiene techniques, as well as being provided with hand sanitizer
  • Clients are also encouraged to maintain a high standard of personal hand hygiene
  • Aircraft will be cleaned and disinfected between flights in accordance with IATA Aircraft cleaning & disinfection during & post pandemic Ed. 1
  • Interior surfaces, seats and facilities will be cleaned with disinfectant between charters or tours, or within a charter or tour when passenger numbers change
  • The carpet will be vacuumed and seat pockets will be emptied of rubbish and cleaned
  • The company departure lounge will be cleaned with disinfectant before and after any charters or tours
  • Personal Protective Equipment will be made available to pilots, should an operational need require carriage of a passenger with suspected COVID-19

 Travel Restrictions:

  • Passengers who have a confirmed case of COVID-19, or who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 7 days, will not be allowed to travel on air tours or charters.
  • All Passengers will be provided with a Travel Pack containing a face mask (one per day), hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
  • Passengers are also welcome to bring their own PPE
  • The wearing of face masks will be guided by the Victorian & Federal Government regulations at the time. Note also that there might be a variation of regulations between States, from time to time. We encourage a conservative and common-sense approach, whilst complying with the various regulations
  • Wearing of masks by our Pilots whilst flying will be at their discretion, as the operational considerations for the safety of the flight are paramount
  • Passengers are reminded of the general COVID-19 health principles of physical distancing and good hygiene.
  • Some States have a mandatory permit system for entry. Completion of all necessary documentation is the passenger’s responsibility, prior to departure. Please contact us if this requirement is providing challenges
  • Tour itineraries might need to be modified to comply with Government regulations that change, after a Tour has departed. Whilst every effort will be made to maintain the original “intent and focus” of the trip, in some cases it’s possible that options might be limited
  • If a decision is made to return home early, a refund or credit will be provided for all accommodation, meal and touring costs that can be recovered.

Further information:

Kirkhope Aviation (also trading as Australian Air Safaris) is a member of the Victorian Tourism Industry Council, is a Quality Tourism Accredited Business and has also been accredited as a COVID Clean Practicing Business. This means that we have adopted the best practice Tourism Industry protocols and these guide our conduct on a day-to-day basis, during your time with us on Tour.

We are also adhering to the World Travel & Tourism Council Safe Travels protocols and are therefore authorized to display the Safe Travels logo.

Passengers with any further questions should contact us on 1300 20 61 30. We will continue to amend this policy when government advice is updated.

Tony Kirkhope

Owner and Director

Last updated: 3 March 2022

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