Air ambulance or scheduled flight – what makes more sense?

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Medical transport on a commercial flight is the most economical way of transporting injured or sick people by air. However, it is worth noting that this is only possible for less complex illnesses when patients are not dependent on artificial respiration or other intensive care procedures during the patient transport.

Patient transport on a commercial flight

So how is patient transport conducted on a scheduled flight from a commercial airliner?

Several rows of seats are removed to accommodate a special transport stretcher bed. On average, it takes 1-2 days to obtain approval for this process. While such medical flights are usually mostly adequate for direct flights from the airport of departure to the final destination, scheduled flights are also possible if it is reasonable for you to change flights. However, despite the option to transit, it is worth noting that any delays on the first leg of your flight may lead to overall delays or cancellations on a later leg of your journey.

Air-ambulance or scheduled flight – what makes more sense?

Flying in a Patient Transport Compartment

It is generally also possible to transport intensive care patients by a chartered flight using the so-called PTC (Patient Transport Compartment). This is a compact mini cabin fitted with extensive intensive care equipment. The cabin houses, in addition to an adjustable patient transport stretcher, the medical team as well, guaranteeing maximum privacy for everyone involved with partition walls on both sides. However, it takes more time to prepare such transport, time which patients in most cases do not have because of their medical urgency and state.

Air ambulance aircraft for patient transport 

In many cases, especially when it concerns the transportation of intensive care patients, only an individual ambulance aircraft airplane comes into consideration. With an ambulance aircraft, it is possible to arrange medical repatriation at extremely short notice (depending on the trajectory); it guarantees the best-possible medical care during the entire patient transport.

Since it is exclusive, it is not necessary to take “normal” passengers or potential breaches of patient privacy into consideration. The medical team as well as the accompanying persons have the necessary leg space to comprehensively care for the patient and his/her wellbeing. The handling at the airport is significantly quicker with a private air-ambulance flight; it even takes significantly longer for other passengers to board a scheduled flight when a patient is on board as well.

air ambulance

Each type of repatriation by air has its distinct advantages, as you might have noticed. We consult you on the optimal medical air service for your case, free of costs or obligation. You can call us directly, write an email, or fill out the contact form. Our office is staffed every day, round the clock, so you always find a ready ear for your request.

Do you have any questions?

If you require more information about the organization of stretcher transport on commercial airline flights or medical flights on air ambulances, please see our FAQs.

Contact us for a medical flight

We are happy to advise you on whether medical repatriation on a scheduled flight is appropriate for you, or whether another option would be more suitable. Our team is available 24/7 for a free, non-obligation consultation. Within hours, we can arrange your medical repatriation from a foreign country, wherever you are in the world. Contact us:

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