AT European Air Ambulance, we are always looking for ways to enhance the services we offer – so we are very proud to announce the introduction of a new, bigger aircraft to our fleet.
Our first long-range option, the Challenger 605 will give us greater operational capabilities, in line with our mission to provide safe, quick and cost-effective medical repatriation 24/7/365 worldwide.
As our valued clients and trusted partners know, EAA - a brand of Luxembourg Air Ambulance - is an expert in international air ambulance repatriation, with more than three decades of experience in aeromedical transport.
We are renowned for the standard of our service and the quality of our care – but we never rest on our successes; we’re always looking to the future and assessing what more we can do to provide the best and most cost-effective services to customers and patients.
Through these difficult and uncertain times, when the whole world has been so enormously affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve adapted our methods to keep providing the best service we can – and we want to be ready for whatever the future brings, with enhanced and more flexible options for our clients.
So last summer, we made the major decision to invest in a larger aircraft – a Bombardier Challenger 605 for dedicated air ambulance use – to give us the capacity to operate longer range missions and carry more patients.
The aircraft will be based at our state-of-the-art headquarters at Luxembourg Airport, becoming operational in the summer (2021) when our Mission Control Centre team will begin scheduling worldwide repatriations.
Why did we choose to include a long-range aircraft in our fleet, and what advantages will there be for our clients
Even though the Learjet 45XR is an excellent aircraft - which very much remains a major part of the EAA fleet with four dedicated to air ambulance missions - we identified a need to expand our capabilities with a longer-range aircraft and larger cabin.
Longer range: The longer range of the Challenger will allow us to fly most missions without fuel stops. Once a repatriation is confirmed, our medical teams will be able to fly out to the patient and immediately return to Luxembourg or on to their home country without refuelling, when previously at least one stop would have been necessary – or even an overnight break in the mission.
As well as the clear time and efficiency savings this presents, there are also significant advantages while we are still in the midst of a global pandemic that has so greatly impacted the travel and transport industry.
Since Covid-19 took hold, many countries have understandably and rightly imposed severe travel restrictions, with increased protocols for landings - even if only for a fuel stop. By eliminating the need to stop, and therefore bypassing these restrictions, we will be able to avoid many potential problems and a significant amount of complicated and time-consuming administrational work.
And it will give us greater control during the missions themselves, as we will be less affected by localised restrictions and decisions by governments and authorities, that not only vary from state to state but can also change at very short notice.
Put simply, we will be able to react quicker, launch missions sooner, and bring patients home faster.
Larger cabin: The larger cabin in the new aircraft will allow us to offer greater flexibility and configuration options, and ultimately carry more patients.
Two intensive care stretchers can be accommodated simultaneously on the Challenger, and we’ll also be able to carry more specialised medical equipment on missions involving critical ICU patients. We pride ourselves on providing the level of critical care in transit that you would expect to find in a hospital ICU, and the additional space will give our onboard medical teams more room to treat our patients – from premature babies to adults needing advanced life-support techniques.
The larger cabin will also enable us to take more passengers – up to four – who will be able to accompany the patient, bringing obvious advantages for families or others who need to travel together.
There are also more generous luggage allowances, again making transportations that little bit easier for patients and passengers at what is likely to be a stressful and upsetting time.
Who will benefit from the new aircraft?
The Challenger will be available for use by all our existing EAA clients around the world, and of course by potential future ones.
It will offer significant advantages to clients who specifically need longer range flight options and those who are operating globally; and it will be a particularly interesting option for companies working with expatriate contracts and who need a fast response and quick repatriation service.
Assistance companies transporting Covid19 patients will be able to make use of the aircraft, with all our Covid-secure measures in place including the isolation units that are necessary on many missions at the current time, and which themselves take up room onboard.
And it will also be available to VIP patients (such as one we transported during the summer), who need room to accommodate their support personnel or who simply want a more spacious aircraft.
We will update you further over the coming weeks, to let you know more about our new aircraft and its capabilities, and the benefits it will bring to EAA’s clients and partners.