Commercial airline repatriation

There are several reasons why you might need a medical repatriation. Seriously ill patients usually need a quick medevac by air ambulance or helicopter. Depending on the patient’s condition and the flight route, however, using a scheduled flight is an economic alternative to an air ambulance.

We therefore offer a medical escort service on a number of flight routes. Qualified medical personnel accompany the patient to give you peace of mind, and are able to intervene quickly if required, using their own carry-on medical equipment. There are various options for repatriation on a commercial flight, each focused on the patient’s well-being and safety.

Commercial airline repatriation with a medical escort

Seat in a commercial airline

For patients in a stable condition, who are able to travel sitting upright and who only need the reassurance of being accompanied by a medic, we offer a medical escort service. 

qualified specialist doctor or paramedic will accompany the patient on the flight. They will have emergency medical equipment, allowing them to provide first aid, if needed.

Medical repatriation flights are usually carried out in business class, but are also possible in economy. Travelling accompanied by medical staff is particularly appropriate for weak, but mobile, patients who are travelling alone.

When choosing a medic to accompany a patient, we consider the medic’s professional qualifications and ensure that the patient and medic are suited; after all, they will be spending some time together, and the patient’s psychological well-being is an essential component of successful medical repatriation – especially on long-distance flights.

Commercial airline repatriation on a stretcher

Stretcher in a commercial airliner seperated by a passenger cabin

For patients who do not require constant medical care but who have to travel lying down and under medical supervision, stretcher transport on a commercial flight is a low-cost alternative to an air ambulance.

We offer a medical repatriation service on many flight routes. Qualified medics accompany the patient and, should any complications arise, can offer quick assistance. 

The patient travels on a stretcher installed in the passenger cabin,  separated from other passengers by a screen to ensure privacy. Next of kin, as well as medical staff, can travel with the patient.

The patient will be transferred to and from the aeroplane by ambulance, and will board and disembark the plane on a stretcher.

Commercial airline repatriation in a Patient Transport Compartment

Intensive care machines and a stretcher

Seriously ill patients who require intensive care can travel lying down at low cost on scheduled flights in a Patient Transport Compartment (PTC). The medical and technical equipment in a PTC is equivalent to that in an ambulance (see list below), enabling the transport of patients who require intensive care, even if they need artificial respiration. PTC transport is available on many long-distance routes. Equipment carried includes:  

  • Bucket-type support with vacuum mattress and patient heating system
  • Emergency backpack with specialised equipment for baby and child care
  • Portable respirator
  • Oxygen tank
  • Infection protection sets
  • Artificial respiration bag with demand valve and vacuum pumps
  • Equipment for monitoring blood pressure, temperature and blood oxygen levels
  • Portable ECG machine
  • Defibrillator, external pacemakers, injection pumps and pressure infusion bags.

Depending on the patient’s condition, additional medical equipment and drugs can also be carried to ensure the highest standard of medical care during the flight.

The patient will be transferred to and from the scheduled airliner in a specifically equipped ambulance, and will board and disembark the plane on a stretcher directly from and to the ambulance.

Do you have any questions?

If you would like to know more about how we organise commercial airline repatriation, please see our list of FAQs.

Contact us

We are happy to advise you whether commercial airline repatriation is appropriate for you, or whether another option would be more suitable. Our team members are available 24/7 to provide advice. We can arrange quick medical repatriation worldwide. Please contact us: