BAN's World GazetteerGermany
German air ambulance specialist FAI-rent-a-jet has phased out its entire Learjet 35 fleet and chairman Siegfried Axtmann says that the last two remaining Learjet 55s will exit by the end of next year.
“We already have the largest LR60 fleet in the world with 11 aircraft, and will replace the 55s with 60s soon,” he tells EBAN. “Every aircraft you can bring in line with the rest of the fleet gives you savings. It is in your interest to operate as few different types as possible, and in our case it is the LR60, Challenger 604 and Global.
“We generate 60 per cent of our revenue through air ambulance. This will not change because the charter business is limited in terms of profit. It makes no sense to increase charter and reduce the air ambulance. Charter leads to overheads so as a standalone business I would not do it. But as an add-on, it requires no further infrastructure, and works well for us.”
There are ongoing talks about using Hangar 8, a newly constructed 4,800 sqm maintenance hangar, as a home for one or two showcase aircraft. “It is better for brokers to show interested parties an aircraft in the hangar and not on the apron, because it is the right environment,” adds Axtmann.
FAI does not conduct primary rescue but offers repatriation. Its patients are first stabilised in a hospital or field hospital rather than taken from the accident site directly. “We try to keep the medical chain as short as possible; there is no need to involve other companies and increase the number of handovers,” he explains. “At one time we were in discussion with Babcock Mission Critical Services about combining our businesses. The problem is that we are paid by insurance, government and corporate schemes. We come into the picture far after the rotary involvement. The rotary and fixed wing aspects are very different and unrelated, so the supply chain does not exist.”