BAN's World GazetteerGermany
The air ambulance division of German special mission operator FAI rent-a-jet has won the 2020 International Travel & Health Insurance Journal (ITIJ) Air Ambulance Company of the Year Award. The winners were revealed virtually at the ITIJ Awards ceremony on 5 November. The company overcame stiff competition from fellow finalists, Air Ambulance Worldwide and Jet Rescue. This marks the second award win for FAI having first won in 2012. The ITIJ awards, now in their 18th year, honour those companies that have made an outstanding contribution to the global travel and health insurance industry over the past year.
Accepting the award, Volker Lemke, head of FAI's air ambulance division, says: “On behalf of the division, I am pleased and proud to have won this important award. The win is particularly sweet given the incredibly challenging and extraordinary year we have had to meet demand during the pandemic. I would like to thank the entire team who have shown dedication, professionalism and incredible resilience particularly during the past nine months. Without them, our work would not be possible.”
“Congratulations to the team at FAI for this well-deserved win,” adds Ian Cameron, ITIJ editor-in-chief. “Our judging panel commented that FAI demonstrated 'quality standards of the highest level' and put 'operational safety first, always guided by ethical principles, governing how they treat their colleagues, clients and the patients entrusted to their care'.”
Earlier this year, FAI rent-a-jet emerged from its busiest period in its 30-year history owing to the coronavirus pandemic. During this time the division has operated at maximum capacity and worked hard to fulfil all the requests coming in 24/7 for repatriation and medevac flights, utilising its 10-strong fleet of air ambulance jet aircraft, covering all corners of the globe.
Demand was particularly strong for its EpiShuttle isolation pod patient transfer system, which enables self-contained oxygen and air ventilation directly to the patient, isolated from the cabin's airflow. Since April, the division has been managing a very challenging and fluid situation with fluctuating demand coming mostly from COVID patient transfers.
FAI is one of the world's largest air ambulance jet operators by revenue, logging far above 10,000 hours per year flying air ambulance missions. The fleet comprises Bombardier Global Express, Challenger 604 and Learjet 60 is based at company headquarters at Albrecht Dürer International airport in Nuremberg, and is supported by more than 200 full time staff plus 50 part-time physicians and paramedics.
The company specialises in air support in hostile areas for the world's largest NGO. It currently averages four intercontinental medical evacuations per day for its global client base.