The approach to Christmas is a time when most of us pause to reflect on our experience of the preceding 12 months. Looking back at 2020, it’s clear that it will be remembered as one of the most challenging years that many people will go through in their lifetime. Its impact on lives, communities and businesses across the world will continue to be felt in 2021.
The surge of coronavirus in early spring prompted organisations across the UK to make urgent changes to their operations in response to an unprecedented situation which was unfolding daily. Jet Aire were no exception – we were forced to move our office-based teams to an almost entirely remote operation as our staff joined the millions of people adjusting to the unfamiliar routine of working from home.
The sudden nature of that change posed some difficulties, but Jet Aire’s office teams retained a healthy perspective about their problems, recognising that our colleagues operating on site never had the luxury of working in the safe surroundings of their home. As key workers, Jet Aire’s drainage engineers remained on the frontline throughout the pandemic. Our site teams were busy during both national lockdowns, helping to prevent pollution and keep utilities functioning for the UK’s industries.
Covid has no regard for construction and drainage maintenance schedules, so at times Jet Aire found ourselves carrying out major time-sensitive projects during the peak of the pandemic. One such project was a technically demanding contract in support of a £92m infrastructure upgrade at Manchester Airport, its largest ever programme of investment.
We provided an extensive upgrade to the drainage network which included approximately 250 linear metres of liner installed to concrete pipework directly below the runway – a task which would have been challenging in normal circumstances, without the threat of a deadly virus. Thankfully, our site team completed the work safely and efficiently. It was one of numerous examples of the enormous skill and determination shown by our engineers this year.
Another example was an industrial tank cleaning contract involving two Royal Navy ships docked at Teesport in Middlesbrough. The two-week maintenance project carried a high level of risk, but Jet Aire’s crew provided the skills and experience required to manage the risk and navigate the work to completion.
Jet Aire have received increased demand for our specialist services in recent years, prompting a programme of investment in our capacity which continued in 2020, including new additions to our fleet, the acquisition of advanced re-lining technology and the recruitment of more engineers to support our work programme. We plan to make further investments next year with a view to developing our business in key sectors, including energy, chemical processing, facilities management, transport infrastructure, residential and commercial.
As a company that provides essential services, Jet Aire have remained operational at varying levels of capacity throughout 2020, but we appreciate that many of our clients, partners, associates and suppliers were forced to pause or restrict their services for extended periods, impacting their business and causing all kinds of disruption to their plans. We are very grateful for their continued support in this most difficult year and, with the arrival of a vaccine, we can all start to look ahead with renewed optimism.
There is still a long way to go before life returns to something resembling normality, but Jet Aire are confident that, when we reach next December and pause to reflect on 2021, the year will be regarded in a much more positive light.