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Press Release

RFDS Central Operations CEO Tony Vaughan unveiled the branded PC-12 with Metcash Supermarkets CEO Scott Marshall and Metcash general manager Zac Mina.

Issued by Royal Flying Doctor Service.

May 21, 2019

Royal Flying Doctor Service and IGA unveil aeromedical PC-12

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Central Operations has unveiled its Independent Grocers of Australia (IGA) branded Pilatus PC-12 aeromedical aircraft in recognition of IGA's new, three-year major sponsorship of RFDS in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The $7 million flying intensive care unit, VH-FVE (Foxtrot-Victor-Echo), is one of 75 RFDS aircraft spread across the country.

The event, which took place at the RFDS aeromedical base at Adelaide Airport, was attended by Tony Vaughan ASM, CEO of RFDS Central Operations, Scott Marshall, CEO of Metcash Supermarkets & Convenience, and Zac Mina general manager of Metcash Food & Grocery SA/NT, along with representation from IGA retailers throughout SA/NT.

Also present was Joseph Romeo, chairman of the IGA Board and National Retailers Council. “IGA is delighted to support the Royal Flying Doctor Service,” said Joseph.

“IGA stores sit at the heart of communities across Australia, and you'll probably find an IGA store in most of the remote and regional towns that the RFDS flies into day in and day out," he said. “This partnership is an alignment of two great brands that are committed to serving South Australians and Territorians and we are delighted to contribute towards keeping these life-saving crews in the air.”

IGA retailers are all about giving back to their local communities, and RFDS has been awarded the most reputable charity brand in Australia for the past eight years in a row.

RFDS covers both metropolitan, regional and remote locations in SA and NT, many of which are served also by IGA stores.

Over the past eight years, VH-FVE had flown over 3.7 million kilometres to airlift more than 6,900 patients from 150 different locations throughout South Australia and the Northern Territory.

"Foxtrot-Victor-Echo has been to locations such as Booleroo Centre on 34 occasions, Coober Pedy on 104 occasions, Keith on 46 occasions, Kingscote on 104 occasions, Tennant Creek on 168 occasions and Yulara on 556 occasions, all of which are communities with locally-owned and operated IGA stores," Tony said. "Now, for the next three years, Echo will continue to perform two flights a day with the IGA brand sitting proudly on its side along, along with our brand and our crews every step of the way," he said.

The partnership works seamlessly with IGA's values, which include giving back to the local community, even at a grass roots level. For example, collection tins and point of sale material in stores help to keep RFDS front of mind in the public's eyes.

Corporate sponsorship and funds raised through the major partnership by IGA will be directed to the RFDS capital-raising programme for the replacement of new aircraft and medical equipment. There are also two IGA-badged full-sized aeromedical training simulators in SA and NT which are used by RFDS pilots for training and education.