BAN's World GazetteerGermany
The air ambulance division of German special mission operator FAI rent-a-jet has been named as the 2021 International Travel & Health Insurance Journal's (ITIJ) Industry Awards' Air Ambulance Company of the Year, beating its fellow two finalists to the post. This is the 19th annual ITIJ Awards and was the seventh nomination for FAI following another extraordinary year of activity in the air ambulance division. FAI also won the award in 2012 and 2020 and has participated in it since 2004. The winners were revealed during a celebratory lunch in Madrid in Spain on 4 November following the 29th annual ITIC Global conference.
Commenting on the win, Volker Lemke, head of FAI's air ambulance division, says: “On behalf of FAI, I am incredibly proud to have won again, particularly given the second immensely challenging year we have had. Over the past year, we have experienced a significant increase in demand for long and ultra-long-range air ambulance business due to the pandemic and a recent uptick in short and medium range repatriation air ambulance business. As a demonstration of our resilience, our talented team of professionals have worked tirelessly to help those in need, so I would like to extend huge thanks to them for making this nomination possible.”
FAI has been at the forefront of supporting the COVID pandemic response, and in 2020 the company had one of its busiest years ever for its air ambulance fleet. This included medical evacuations of infected patients and repatriation flights of unaffected healthy individuals from all corners of the globe. During this time, FAI pioneered the roll-out of COVID-19 aeromedical transport capability, the EpiShuttle isolation pod. This enables self-contained oxygen and air ventilation directly to the patient, isolated from the cabin's airflow.
The company is one of the world's largest air ambulance jet operators. The 10-strong air ambulance fleet comprising Learjet 60, Challenger 604 and Bombardier Global Express is based at FAI's headquarters at Albrecht Dürer International airport in Nuremberg. It is supported by more than 250 full-time staff plus 50 part-time physicians, nurses and paramedics. The company also specialises in air support in hostile areas for the world´s largest NGO.