Commercial airline repatriation

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There are several reasons why you might need commercial airline repatriation. While seriously ill patients are typically transported by air ambulance or helicopter, a scheduled flight is a low-cost alternative to an air ambulance depending on the patient's condition and the flight route.

We offer this service on several flight routes. We have qualified medical personnel to accompany the patient for peace of mind, and quick intervention using their carry-on medical equipment.

Do I Qualify for Commercial Airline Repatriation?

For 'non-urgent' cases, repatriation via a commercial airline is a suitable alternative. Reason being that it costs considerably less than a private air ambulance.

However, being able to fly commercially may be hampered if your condition is detrimental to other travelers e.g., if you have an infectious disease. Other conditions may rule out a commercial flight because more specialised medical care is necessary which can only be provided on board of an air ambulance. And while there seems to be a lot that goes into choosing between taking a private air ambulance or commercial airline, our team is happy to help you make the best decision depending on your situation.

What Are My Options?

There are various options for repatriation on a commercial flight, each focused on the patient's well-being and safety. These are:

Commercial Airline Repatriation with a Medical Escort

Seat in a commercial airline

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

A 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.

Commercial airline repatriation typically happens in business class but is also possible in economy class. Traveling accompanied by medical staff is particularly appropriate for weak, but mobile, patients who are traveling alone.

When choosing a medic to accompany a patient, we consider the medic's professional qualifications and ensure that the patient and doctor suit each other; after all, they will be spending time together. 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

Commercial Airline Repatriation

For patients who do not require constant medical care but need to travel lying down while under medical supervision, our commercial airline stretcher service is an ideal choice.

Qualified medics accompany the patient and can provide quick assistance should any complications arise.

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 is transferred to the airplane 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 in a Patient Transport Compartment (PTC). The medical and technical equipment in a PTC is equivalent to that in an ambulance (see list below).

This kind of equipment enables 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 specialized 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, ensuring the highest standard of medical care is maintained during the flight.

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

Do You Have Any Questions?

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

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.

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