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FAI Named Finalist For Seventh Time In ITIJ Air Ambulance Company Of Year Awards

The Air Ambulance Division of German Special Mission Operator FAI rent-a-jet AG is proud to be nominated as one of three finalists in the 2021 International Travel & Health Insurance Journal´s (ITIJ) Industry Awards – Air Ambulance Company of the Year category.

This is the 19th annual ITIJ Awards and marks the seventh nomination for FAI following another extraordinary year of activity in the air ambulance division. FAI won the award in 2012 and 2020 and has participated in it since 2004. The winners will be revealed during a celebratory lunch in Madrid on 4 November following the 29th annual ITIC Global conference. 

Commenting on the nomination, Volker Lemke, Head of FAI´s Air Ambulance Division, said, “On behalf of FAI, I am incredibly proud to have been nominated 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.

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Quick Air Adds The 3rd Modern And Efficient Learjet 45XR To Its Fleet

German carrier Quick Air recently received its third Learjet 45XR expanding their air ambulance fleet to 11 dedicated air ambulance aircraft.

The new aircraft (callsign D-CQAC) (Fig.1) has been converted to a flying ICU by Quick Airs own Part 145 maintenance facility ASK-Air Service Klausheide. With the experience of the first two Learjet 45XR (D-CQAA & D-CQAB), which were added in 2018, the whole cabin conversion (pictured below) could be accomplished in-house, strategically planned as a conversion package including the installation of a Lifeport PLUS double stretcher system and an individually designed three-part medical equipment mounting system.

With the new cabin layout a transport of two intensive care patients with two full medical teams including two flight physicians and two flight nurses could be possible which makes this aircraft beneficial efficient. In another cabin configuration with only one stretcher on board up to seven passengers are able to fly beside the patient.

An additional benefit of this aircraft is the outer baggage compartment which can easily offer space for up to five suitcases, a wheelchair or a rollator. The Quick Air Team is proud of their latest achievements.

“We focus on a modern, efficient and well-structured fleet and will continue to invest in its fundamental renewal. This will enable Quick Air to continue to offer a leading product quality and at the same time fly even more economically. Modern aircraft and state-of-the-art medical equipment are an investment in patient safety and in the operational efficiency of the fleet” says Georg Griesemann, Deputy Manager of Quick Air.

Read more about Quick Air on their micro website on iPMI Magazine, click here.

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Air Alliance Wins Air Ambulance Provider Of The Year Award 2nd Year In A Row

Congratulations to the team at Air Alliance for winning the “Air Ambulance Provider of the Year Award” for the 2nd year running.

During the ceremony at the ITIJ Industry Awards in Geneva, Air Alliance competed against two further finalists and was handed the prestigious award by sponsor Larry Friedman - UC San Diego Health. 

Air Alliance would like to thank all clients and the entire team for their excellent support and great work. 

ABOUT AIR ALLIANCE MEDFLIGHT

Air Alliance Medflight is a 100% subsidiary of the Air Alliance Group, a company that has been successfully serving the market since 1993 in all aspects of aviation. Aircraft sales, air ambulance, aircraft maintenance/development and flight training center are the strategic business units of the company.

To date, Air Alliance runs a fleet of 11 own aircraft (Lear Jet 35, 55 and Challenger 604) They are located in Cologne - Siegerland (near Frankfurt) and Vienna / Austria.

Every year, some 780 missions around the globe and approximately 6,000 flight hours are accomplished. Air Alliance Medflight is specialized in long range flights and in flying to remote areas. On our flights, we propose the full spectrum of care: from basic to advanced life support and critical care with premium medical equipment.

We serve clients from around the globe, including major insurance and assistance companies, governments, hospitals, specialized aviation brokers and private payors

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Air Alliance Adds Second Learjet 35 To Their UK Operation, CQC Approval

Air Alliance has increased capacity by adding a second Learjet 35A to their UK operations.

To help with the increase of availability, two new First Officers have joined the team in Birmingham. Dan Sanders and Tim Gurney-Coombs bring with them a wealth of experience in Air Ambulance operations, having more than 15 years of experience between them. They have joined a very highly skilled team in Birmingham which has several thousand flights hours each across the flight crew.   

All flight enquiries are centrally handled by the German alarm center:
Phone: +49 2736 4428 45 // This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Air Alliance UK Operations approved as Provider by Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The Air Alliance UK operation is now officially registered with CQC (Care Quality Commission), the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. This is another milestone for Air Alliance in terms of quality and patient safety.

Air ambulance insurance services evacuation repatriation news

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AirCARE1 International Celebrates 1st Anniversary of New Learjet Aircraft

AirCARE1 International is celebrating the first anniversary of the inaugural flight of their third Learjet aircraft. This third aircraft has increased AirCARE1 International’s capacity to fly more patients to more international and domestic destinations than ever before. Their newest Lear 35A is one of the latest models manufactured to date by Learjet and keeps with the company’s vision of transporting patients in elegant, executive quality Learjets in a pleasant medical environment.

AirCARE1 International has differentiated themselves from all others in the air ambulance industry by utilizing a Holistic approach to patient care. As a critical care nurse and former music major, AirCARE1 founder Denise Waye, integrated music into the medical environment of air transport after seeing how music and a holistic approach to patient care dramatically decreased the stress levels in her patients. AirCARE1 International has been utilising holistic care for its patients to decrease the stressors of flight for the last 10 years and has seen dramatic results. During their flight, patients are provided with noise cancelling headsets with therapeutic music as well as hand massages utilizing aromatherapy. These amenities, along with a critical care team of highly experienced and qualified medical professionals, provide peace of mind for their patients and family members.

Today AirCARE1 International owns their own fleet of air ambulance aircrafts at two bases and operate them under their own FAA Air Carrier certificate. They are the preferred provider of many travel assist and insurance companies. Most notably, we have become a preferred provider for the International Assistance Group (IAG). We are only the second air ambulance provider to be selected from the United States.

Additionally, AirCARE1 International has been awarded both the CAMTS and EURAMI air ambulance accreditations. Dual accreditation is a rarity for air ambulance services, and this demonstrates our commitment to a higher standard of service. All of this combined helps provide their patients with the highest quality of care and superior customer service.

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Air Alliance Medflight Expands Air Ambulance Fleet

Air Alliance Medflight reports the addition of 4 more aircraft to their fleet.

The newly acquired aircraft consist of 2 Learjet 35A and 2 Piper Cheyenne PA42. All aircraft are fully dedicated to air ambulance missions, ready to fulfil repatriation and evacuation requests from international and regional clients.

All are available in a double stretcher configuration and with full ICU equipment.

Following the addition of the new aircraft, the fleet of Air Alliance Medflight now comprises 15 own aircraft: - 1 Challenger 604 - 1 Learjet 31 - 9 Learjet 35A - 1 Learjet 55 - 3 Piper Cheyenne PA42.

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Air Methods Responds To ABC News Air Ambulance Investigation

Air Methods released the following statement in response to the ABC News report:

We appreciate ABC News in its willingness to address the issue of cost in its report of the emergency air medical transportation industry. While the topic is an important one, critical context was left out of the report about our financial investment and challenges that persist in the healthcare industry.

Each year, nearly half a million critically ill or seriously ill patients rely on emergency air medicine for lifesaving care.  As an industry, we provide access to more than 82 million people – one in four Americans – who otherwise would not have been able to reach a trauma center within an hour if not flown by helicopter. When transported, these patients are in such critical condition, we have to continue the care in the air.  We’re in essence a flying emergency room and we only respond when a physician or a first responder calls us. When every minute counts, emergency air medical transport and treatment is often not just the best choice for saving a life, it’s the only choice.

Like a fire station, our fleet and highly trained clinicians are always ready to deploy every moment of every day, whether there is an emergency or not. Yet, real-time deployment readiness requires enormous financial resources and ongoing investment. There is a very real cost that goes into providing access to lifesaving services twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

  • We have more than 300 air medical bases and each base costs, on average, $3 million to operate and maintain each year. 
  • The multi-million dollar aircraft, employing highly trained pilots, mechanics, flight nurses, flight paramedics and AirCom specialists, maintaining crew quarters, state-of-the-art equipment and administrative costs – these are all fixed costs, meaning we incur these costs just by staying ready at all times, whether we fly or not.

Aircraft, equipment, highly specialized staff—both clinical and aviation—and ongoing training are only part of the equation.

When we are asked to save a life, we deploy without regard to a patient’s ability to pay. That means we sometimes don’t receive payment for our services. And when we do, the payments we receive for Medicare or Medicaid patients don’t come close to covering the actual cost we incur for providing our service. This means we are essentially losing money on seven out of 10 transports due to extremely low government payments. 

At the heart of the issue is that health insurance isn’t doing what health insurance is supposed to do— protect its members. The core purpose of health insurance is to protect individuals from catastrophic events, yet private health plans continue to shrink their coverage, shifting toward high deductible, high out-of-pocket models and reducing coverage for their members. They don’t offer patients adequate protection—financially or medically.  No one wins in this scenario, except the insurance companies who choose to abandon their members by paying a minimal amount and walking away, leaving the hospital, Air Methods, and most importantly, their member and our patients to deal with the aftermath of their poor business practice.  In an ideal world, everyone pays their fair share, and if they did, the charge per transport would reduce significantly.  In today’s reality, many insurance companies are doing the bare minimum and expecting the rest of us, especially their members, to shoulder the burden.

Some have asked why we don’t include pricing on our release forms and the truth is because the number one focus of family and loved ones in these traumatic situations is on making clinical decisions so their loved ones survive. That’s their number one focus – and it’s our number one focus too.

The fact of the matter is our fractured healthcare system creates enormous barriers and makes lifesaving care more difficult and costly to deliver.  Every day, we are forced to operate within the system that exists and do our best to protect the people we serve. We face regulatory burdens not only from the FAA, but also from a variety of local and federal healthcare oversight bodies. We seek every efficiency and innovation to keep our costs down, but the nature of our service—and the complexities of the healthcare industry—dictate costs that are beyond our control. Our charges are similar to other for-profit and non-profit air medical providers.

We don’t like when our patients are put in these situations and we do everything we can to help them. We understand that every patient's individual and financial circumstances are unique, and our team is dedicated to partnering with every one of them as they navigate through the post-flight and critical care process. We have a long-established charity care process in place to allow us to reduce patient financial responsibility within our legal parameters, and our Patient Financial Counselors are here to help.  We believe that everyone deserves access to lifesaving care.

Visit our website to see the full transcript and video of Kim Downs, a parent to a former Air Methods patient, during her interview with ABC News.

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Tokio Marine HCC Acquires On Call International

HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. has announced that it has acquired On Call International LLC (On Call). On Call designs and markets customized self-insured and indemnified travel risk management plans, including medical, travel, political and natural disaster coverage. Founded in 1995, On Call is headquartered in Salem, New Hampshire. The company serves millions of travellers each year, and clients include travel agencies, academic institutions, insurance companies and leisure travelers. 

“On Call has a long and successful track record of providing unparalleled global travel risk management services, and HCC Specialty has benefited from these services as a satisfied client for five years,” said Bill Hubbard, President and Chief Executive Officer of HCC Specialty. “In today’s increasingly perilous world for travelers, we’ve brought this vital service in-house, helping us to increase our competitive edge by offering a superior customer experience.”

“By joining Tokio Marine HCC, On Call gains access to global expertise and unmatched products and services to expand our operations and further strengthen our world-class travel risk management offerings,” said Mike Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of On Call. “The backing of Tokio Marine Holdings, an industry-leading, international insurance company with over 30,000 employees, provides On Call and our millions of current and future members with incredible and innovative opportunities to build on our successes.”

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Medical Insurance Plan Launched For International Contractors

Specialist global insurance intermediary Bellwood Prestbury have, in partnership with APRIL international, launched a new international medical expenses plan specifically designed for the international contractor sector.

The plan has been designed to fill an important void for the many self-employed and small groups of employees who are often faced with a combination of high premiums and insufficient cover when trying to arrange cover.

Whether onshore or offshore, the International Contractors Health Plan offers a range of tailored medical insurance solutions for people working in the Oil & Gas, Energy, Telecommunications, Technology and Associated sectors

Offering a choice of three levels of cover available for periods of 3, 6, 9 or 12 months, every policy includes as standard 24/7 Emergency Medical Evacuation (CEGA Assistance), 24/7 Crisis Management Assistance (Red24) and Global Blood Transfusion support (Blood Care Foundation), making it particularly ideal for anyone working in difficult or remote areas where medical treatment may be limited or hard to access.

Andrew Apps, Head of Global Healthcare at Bellwood Prestbury International commented “By bringing together a choice of comprehensive cover benefits and affordable premiums, this unique programme recognises the demands and requirements of the global contractor by packaging each element under a single proposition.”

The International Contractors Plan is ideal for anyone looking for either short or long-term cover, and has the advantage of providing cover between assignments, so removing the need to reapply for cover and facing potential underwriting issues every time a new job comes along”.

With a dedicated web site at www.bellwoodprestbury.com/pmicontractors, instant quotes available online and fast moratorium underwriting acceptance, the International Contractors Plan has been designed to be easy to understand, straight forward to buy and simple to use.

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Cigna Global Health Benefits Expands Sales With New Expatriate Health Insurance Plan

Designed for expatriate employees of multinational companies with offices in Africa, Cigna Global Health Benefits® is now offering its new Cigna Africa product. Expats in regions of Africa will benefit from Cigna's local experience and facilities, global medical network, and ongoing commitment to investments in this region.

Cigna Africa has been designed specifically for multinationals’ globally mobile, key local and third-country nationals (TCN) staff in Africa. The product has been tailored to the needs and local practices of the region, making the plan affordable and giving multiple options to individual preferences such as area of cover, cover levels and supplementary coverages. It includes health benefits, dental and vision cover, evacuation and health management services.

“Africa is an emerging economy, with significant growth of almost 1,000 billion US$ over the last decade1. This trend makes it an attractive expansion target for us. With our already existing infrastructure and experience in Africa, we are in a good position to give regional expats and key nationals a premium service,” says Bart Jordens, General Manager International Organisations and Africa at Cigna.

Currently, Cigna Global Health Benefits already supports the health, well-being and sense of security for numerous customers in Sub-Saharan Africa, employed by multinationals, non-profits and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). It employs local communication officers and medical consultants in key hubs and claims intake office in Kenya.

Africa is emerging as a significant point of growth, making it an attractive expansion target for companies in search of new markets. The EY attractiveness index 2013 for Africa shows that Africa’s growth is real and sustainable, with the economic output of Sub-Saharan Africa having grown strongly from US$344.1 billion in 2000 to US$1 334.2 billion in 2012. Sub-Saharan economic output is projected to reach US$1 844.6 by 2017.

1 Source: EY 2013/14 Sub-Saharan Africa talent trends and practices survey report.

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