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Rega puts Challengers in for fresh lick of paint
In order to have three ambulance aircraft available to repatriate patients, Rega can, if necessary, use a Challenger 604 jet belonging to the Swiss Air Force while its own aircraft are in the paint shop.
Rega has been swamped with requests during the coronavirus pandemic.

Swiss Air Rescue Service Rega's three Challenger 650 jets will be repainted between September 2020 and March 2021. In order to ensure the availability of air ambulances for the repatriation of patients during this time, Rega has been granted permission to use a Swiss Air Force jet if necessary.

Rega's three new Challenger 650 ambulance jets have been in use around the world for seriously ill patients and those injured in accidents since spring 2018. They have proven themselves in daily use as reliable and modern ambulance aircraft and have already flown over 1,700 patients back to their homeland.

The repainting is necessary due to a defect in the original paintwork and is covered by the manufacturer's guarantee. A flawless paint surface is not only desirable for aesthetic reasons, but also has an impact on the aerodynamics of the aircraft and therefore on fuel consumption. The repainting of the jets will be carried out by the manufacturer Bombardier in Canada and will take around four weeks per machine. On this occasion, further work will be carried out within the guarantee, such as repairing signs of wear and tear in the cabin.

In order to have three ambulance aircraft simultaneously available to repatriate patients during this time, Rega can, if necessary, use a Bombardier Challenger 604 jet belonging to the Swiss Air Force, including pilots, for repatriation flights within Europe. The Air Force operates two CL604s, having acquired them from Rega in September 2019. If the Air Force jet is used by Rega, Rega will be responsible for the medical clarification, the medical crew on board and for the medical equipment. The Air Force will be responsible for flight planning and the flight crew of the CL604 on behalf of Rega.

This solution is ideal for both sides: In this way, Rega can continue to ensure the operational availability of three ambulance jets for the benefit of the Swiss population and, if necessary, can fall back on a tried and tested jet that it had operated for 16 years. In return, the Air Force can gain further experience in both planning and flight operations.

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