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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.


Airlec Air Espace Achieves Successful Primary EURAMI Accreditation

Airlec Air Espace of Bordeaux, France is delighted to announce that it has successfully achieved its first Accreditation by the European Aero-Medical Institute (EURAMI).

Airlec Air Espace was awarded accreditation in the following categories:

  • Regional Fixed Wing Air Ambulance
  • Long-range / Intercontinental Fixed Wing Air Ambulance

Airlec has also successfully achieved following medical endorsements:

  • Adult Critical Care
  • Advanced Adult Critical Care
  • Pediatric Critical Care
  • Neonatal Critical Care

This accreditation demonstrates Airlec’s continuous commitment to professional excellence and leading edge medical transport worldwide.

Airlec Managing Director Paul Tiba comments on this prestigious achievement, “We are extremely proud to have successfully completed the EURAMI primary accreditation and look forward to continuing to demonstrate our excellent care and dedication to safety & quality in alignment with the EURAMI philosophy and standards”.

Founded in 1992 the European Aero-Medical Institute e.V. – commonly known as EURAMI – is a nonprofit organization, with its base in Cologne, Germany. EURAMI has established itself as an indicator for Excellence, Quality and Safety in Aero-Medical Transportation. Founded by the leading aeromedical providers in the world it has since developed into a globally recognized institution with more than 50 accredited providers worldwide.

EURAMI strives to increase and promote the best patient care by creating and publishing standards in the field of Fixed Wing Air Ambulance, Rotary Wing Air Ambulance as well as Commercial Airline Medical Escort.

For further information please visit our website: or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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.


FAI Welcomes Seventh Global Express

German Special Mission and VIP-Charter Operator FAI rent-a-jet AG has welcomed its seventh Bombardier Global Express, MSN 9016, to the company’s 26-strong fleet.

Siegfried Axtmann, FAI Aviation Group Chairman, comments, “We are delighted to be working with the renowned Tim Callies and his team on our Global Express enabling the new owner to personalise their interior as part of our ‘Signature Edition’. FAI Technik has performed numerous 120- and 180-month inspections on BD700 series aircraft, notably this aircraft will be the first Global Express to undergo its second 10-year inspection at our MRO. With its state-of-the-art carbon fibre cabin, it will represent extraordinary value for money on the Global Express pre-owned market.”

Following a 240-month inspection, the Global Express will undergo a complete interior refurbishment at the company’s growing MRO division, FAI Technik in Nuremberg. Further planned upgrades include the installation of a new cabin management system, KA-Band Ultra-High Speed Wi-Fi Internet and new exterior paint. It is anticipated that the aircraft will be introduced to the market for sale or lease by the end of March 2019.

The aircraft’s custom interior will be designed by FAI’s design partner, award-winning German design specialist, Tim Callies. Tim, who is well known in the business aviation industry for his work on Boeing BBJ’s, Airbus ACJ’s and Global Express business jets will work with the future aircraft owner to select custom features to suit his or her own particular taste and lifestyle.

The Global Express will be FAI’s third “Signature Edition” aircraft where a buyer can personalise the cabin design and select upgrades for an all-in turnkey price. The end result offers the benefit of a fully refurbished aircraft with major maintenance inspections completed.

In addition to the seven Bombardier Global Express jets, FAI´s group fleet includes, five Bombardier Challenger 604s, one Challenger 850, 11 Learjet 60, plus one Premier 1A and one King Air 350. All Bombardier aircraft are maintained by FAI Technik GmbH in Nuremberg.

FAI is Germany’s largest general aviation operator by fleet operating more than 13,000 hours of airtime in 2017. It is also one of Europe’s largest Bombardier operators, which brings significant operational and cost benefits.


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


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.


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.


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.


Garmin® Helicopter Avionics Suite Selected By Air Evac Lifeteam

Garmin International Inc. announce the selection of a completely integrated Garmin avionics suite by Air Evac Lifeteam for its fleet of Bell 206 and Bell 407 helicopters. This Night Vision Goggle (NVG) compatible upgrade consists of the G500H glass flight display, GTN™ 650 touchscreen GPS/NAV/COMM and GTR 225 COMM radio, as well as the GDL® 88 ADS-B datalink and GRA 55 radar altimeter.

Optimized for rotorcraft, this avionics suite offers robust features that reduce pilot workload and assure fleet commonality. Additionally, these avionics fulfill Part 135 radar altimeter and Helicopter Air Ambulance (HAA) equipage requirements set forth by the FAA, as well as Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (HTAWS) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) initiatives. The Garmin Pilot™ app completes this comprehensive suite by offering unique helicopter-tailored features so operators are equipped with the latest capabilities.

“The selection of a fully equipped Garmin avionics suite is a declaration of the performance and dependability provided by our equipment and further demonstrates Air Evac’s commitment to providing its crews and patients with the most advanced technology the industry has to offer,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin’s vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “We are excited the relationship with Air Evac has expanded with its growing needs to now provide a comprehensive solution that goes beyond a state-of-the-art avionics suite. Our valued, long-term relationship has evolved to benefit pilots, patients and crew alike and we look forward to supporting Air Evac with the most integrated and advanced avionics suite on the market that enhances situational awareness for their operations.”

Tony Bonham, senior director of flight operations for Air Evac Lifeteam, said the company has a long-standing relationship with Garmin. “Our pilots are excited that Air Evac made a commitment to equip its fleet with the Garmin G500H and GTN 650,” he said. “They have used Garmin’s equipment for several years and are confident the new G500H and GTN 650 will bring a new element of situational awareness to the aircraft.”

The G500H is a dual-screen electronic flight display system designed specifically for the VFR helicopter market. The primary flight display (PFD) and multi-function display (MFD) within the G500H displays position, altitude, speed and more, directly in the field of view of the pilot. The GTN 650 touchscreen GPS/NAV/COM is seamlessly integrated with the G500H to provide operators with state-of-the-art navigation capabilities. Crew workload is reduced with the GTR 225 COM radio, which incorporates frequency lookup and reverse lookup functions via an internal database on a large, sunlight-readable LCD display.

State-of-the-art HTAWS technology continuously works to monitor surrounding terrain and obstacles. Operators are provided with visual and aural alerts of potential terrain and obstacle conflicts, which are available within the GTN touchscreen navigator and on the PFD of the G500H. Garmin HTAWS incorporates a five-color terrain scale (red, orange, yellow, green and black) and provides pilot-selectable voice callouts when descending from 500 to 100 feet above ground level (AGL). Furthermore, Garmin’s HTAWS offers Reduced Protection (RP) mode that allows low-level operations with minimal alerting, while continuing to provide terrain and obstacle protection. In addition to HTAWS, optional WireAware™ wire-strike avoidance technology overlays comprehensive power line location and altitude information on the moving map so they’re easier to identify relative to the flight path of the helicopter.

Helicopter Air Ambulance requirements are easily met with Garmin’s high-performance and cost-effective GRA 55 radar altimeter, which conveniently displays altitudes on the PFD of the G500H. Leveraging patented digital signal processing, this technology incorporates built-in self-test monitors that continuously cross-check system and data integrity, assuring the pilot of an accurate height above ground measurement. In addition to one hundred foot callouts, the GRA 55 offers an additional 50-foot callout when paired with HTAWS.

The dual-link GDL 88 ADS-B datalink provides helicopter operators with a solution to meet ADS-B airspace requirements. For added awareness, traffic information received by the GDL 88 is conveniently displayed on the G500H and GTN 650, which also features audible traffic callouts. Additionally, the GDL 88 receives FAA subscription-free Flight Information Service-Broadcast (FIS-B) weather, displaying graphical NEXRAD radar information, NOTAMs, METARs, TAFs, TFRs and more on the G500H and GTN 650.

The Garmin Pilot app leverages unique helicopter-tailored features, which help Helicopter Air Ambulance operators meet rules recently established by the FAA. When entering a departure and destination pair, Garmin Pilot easily identifies the highest obstacle along the route of flight in mean sea level (MSL) and above ground level (AGL). These obstacles are easily identified on the flight plan page, as well as the moving map page. Additionally, Garmin Pilot provides these operators with convenient access to IFR and VFR Helicopter Route Charts throughout eight major metropolitan areas within the United States.


First Medical PTC-Transport On Airbus A380 Manned By SOS International Doctor

SOS International was the first medical assistance company to take the new generation of flying intensive care units on the Airbus A380 in use on a patient transport on a Lufthansa flight from Johannesburg to Frankfurt.

The Patient Transport Compartment (PTC), a flying intensive care unit, is developed by Lufthansa Tecknik and LH Medical Service and can now also be built into Airbus A380 aircrafts to be used on long-haul routes.

The use of the PTC can be a very cost-effective alternative to ambulance airplanes. Using an intensive care unit when possible instead of an ambulance airplane is often cheaper. Lufthansa has aircrafts specially prepared for these intensive care units and can therefore change flights, when SOS International orders a PTC transport. It is of course only possible for SOS International to make use of these intensive care units when medical and logistic conditions make it possible.

The large airplanes from Lufthansa, i.e. Airbus 380, 340 and 330 and Boing 747, prepared for the PTC, have routes from/to Munich and Frankfurt, so the patients must continue the repatriation with an ambulance airplane from these destinations to the final European destination. The airplane change normally takes place wing-by-wing, i.e. the small ambulance plane is allowed to park close to the very large aircrafts. Although it seems inconvenient to change flight during a trip, this should be compared with ambulance flights having several ground stops for fueling.

Medical Escort Doctor from SOS International Hanns Reich, an anesthesiologist, escorted the patient on the first flight with the Airbus A380 and explains, “it was exciting to be the first to test a new installation together with a PTC-crew member. The ventilator, the infusions pumps, the monitors etc. all functioned as intended. The size of the PTC gives excellent working conditions with the patient placed in the correct height and seats for the escorting crew appropriate placed for monitoring the patient means that we can provide the best possible medical care during the repatriation. The Lufthansa PTC crew-member is fully aware of the conditions of having a patient on board and they know the exact position of all equipment, medicines and other supplies which contributes to a safe repatriation for the patient”.

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