Abu Dhabi's Prestige Jet has signed an agreement with Flight Ambulance International (FAI) to be the exclusive representative for FAI in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and will offer a worldwide air ambulance service for patients.
HE Ghaith Ben Hamil Al Ghaith, chairman Prestige Jet, says there is a growing demand for air ambulance services. "We will transport clients between the two cities and any destination in the world. With this partnership, we can provide a service of the highest standard to ensure the comfort and safety of patients seeking or requiring treatment elsewhere in the world.
"More importantly we can meet the standards set by organisations such as the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Services or the European Aero Medical Institute. "We have been working with FAI for several months now and we are delighted to formalise our partnership through this agreement. A dedicated fleet of air ambulance Lear 55s, operated by a highly trained team of medical and aviation professionals, will facilitate a worldwide bedside-to-bedside service on a personal handling basis, without restrictions, 24-7."
HE Ghaith says that Prestige Jet's current clients for this type of service come from the private sector as well as from government, the military and private hospitals and is expected to grow rapidly.
"We have been providing medical evacuation flights for some time now and have quickly built a reputation for trustworthiness, quality, service and competitive pricing. He adds: "One of our major customers is the General Health Authority of Abu Dhabi where we regularly operate medical flights mostly to Europe and we are also negotiating several other long term agreements with government entities in Abu Dhabi and AI Ain."
Dr. Siegfried Axtmann, owner and chairman of the supervisory board of FAI, who signed the agreement with HE Ghaith Al Ghaith, says the agreement will increase the company's presence in the Middle East which currently accounts for around eight per cent of its total business. "Recently, we increased our air ambulance capacity to six Learjets, following the acquisition of a fourth 55, which has a dual stretcher capability in response to the reduced availability of stretchers on board commercial airline flights," he says. "A feasibility study is currently underway to look at the possibility of permanently positioning an aircraft in Abu Dhabi to serve this growing market. At present we primarily operate out of Nuernberg, Germany, and West Africa."
Axtmann adds that all aircraft can offer the equivalent of an on-board intensive care unit, and are staffed from a pool of highly experienced paramedics who are permanently in practice. "The craft and crew operate to international standards and we work closely with individual patients' own physicians, who often accompany the patient on board the flight," he says. "Furthermore we can offer an all female crew whenever cultural sensitivities require it."
Prestige Jet operates out of Abu Dhabi and has been accepted as a member of the Flight Safety Foundation. It says this means it will anticipate, identify and analyse global aviation safety issues and set priorities, and participate in a forum where air carriers, manufacturers, suppliers, maintenance organisations, aviation regulatory agencies and flight crew members share information, ideas and best practices for safety. Faris Deeb, ceo, Prestige Jet says: "The Flight Safety Foundation has contributed significantly to the evolution of aviation safety and the saving of lives."