Medical repatriation on a commercial flight


  1. Introduction
  2. Stretcher transport on a commercial flight
  3. Let us take the lead for you
  4. Stretcher transport on a commercial airline flight: the benefits
  5. In good hands with Medical Air Service
  6. Do you have any questions?
  7. Contact us


There are several reasons why you might need medical repatriation. Intensive care patients usually need a quick medevac by air ambulance, whether a jet or a  helicopter. Depending on the patient’s condition and the flight route, medical repatriation via commercial stretcher on scheduled flights is an economic alternative to the use of an air ambulance with intensive care equipment.

Stretcher transport on a commercial flight

When planning medical repatriation, patients and their families have to decide, is a transfer by air ambulance or ambulance helicopter necessary, or can the patient travel on a stretcher on a commercial flight? Medical Air Service can advise patients which would be best for them.

First, we consult with our medical staff about the state of the patient’s health and advise them if a scheduled flight would be the best option. If the patient does not require any intensive care or medical support but has to travel lying down and under medical supervision, a commercial stretcher flight is a low-cost alternative to an air ambulance. We know the cost of the journey is a factor in your decision, and you can be assured that our advice is always impartial and honest, and we have your best interests at heart. 

Let us take the lead for you

After agreeing to use stretcher transport on a commercial flight, we will handle the rest for you. Not all airlines accept medical repatriation flights, but we will search for an airline and a flight route anywhere in the world that meets the patient’s needs. After finding the perfect flight route, the airline will prepare the plane. This begins with installing the stretcher in the passenger cabin, which can take two to three days. When this is done, the patient will be transferred to the plane by ambulance, and will board and disembark the plane on a stretcher straight from, and to, the ambulance. Qualified air medics accompany the patient and, if there are any complications, can offer quick assistance using the emergency medical equipment carried on board. To ensure privacy for the patient, a screen separates them from other passengers. Next of kin, as well as medical staff, travel with the patient and have permanent access to them.

When choosing staff to provide medical care during the flight, we consider the medic’s professional qualifications and ensure that patient and medic are well suited; after all, the patient’s psychological well-being is a vital factor in successful medical air transport, especially on long-distance flights. 

Stretcher transport on a commercial airline flight: the benefits

Using stretcher transport on a commercial airline flight has several benefits. One of the most important is cost – this option is obviously cheaper than using an air ambulance. Since the installation of a stretcher takes two or three days, this option is often used on medium or long-haul flights without stopovers, which means it can be used internationally. Plus, the patient can be accompanied by their relatives or friends. Of course, medical staff and the patient’s relatives will have permanent access to the patient, which will reassure them and make them more relaxed. 

In good hands with Medical Air Service

Medical Air Service consists of an international team of professional repatriation experts with over 40 years of medical aviation experience. Our years of experience in organising stretcher transport on scheduled flights around the world allow us to create tailor-made solutions to meet our clients’ needs. Not every airline accepts stretcher transport flights, so we are happy to look for the best route for each patient.

Medical Air Service even organises communication with foreign authorities and doctors on-site. Our team members speak several languages and can therefore communicate with doctors and hospitals worldwide. The patient can concentrate on recovering; we take care of the rest.  

Do you have any questions?

If you require more information about the organisation of stretcher transport on commercial airline flights, please see our FAQs.

Contact us

We are happy to advise you 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, no-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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