- January 6, 2022
On 27th December 2021, AMREF Flying Doctors received a call to provide repatriation services to two patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in their home country.
As this was a long-haul evacuation, our team opted to use our partners to complete the mission via wing-to-wing services. We provided a Citation Sovereign C680 Air Ambulance for this purpose, which was set off for the first leg of the flight before handing over the patient to the partner operator.
Wing-to-wing patient transfer entails the patient being picked up by one air ambulance service provider, flown to a location, and then transferred to another air ambulance provider who completes the mission to the patient’s destination. This type of operation is useful where the distance flown is long, often intercontinental, and where the patient transfer cannot wait for the availability a suitable aircraft. It is a sensitive operation that requires partners to adhere to the same international medical and aviation standards.
Onboard, there were state-of-the-art isolation units that allowed patients to be transported without any risk of passing on the infection.
Our operations team maintained constant communication with our partners to ensure they were informed of any developments in advance of the team’s arrival in Zurich, Switzerland for patients’ handover.
Additionally, the team ensured that all clearances required of the team and the patient were completed prior to mission activation.
Due to the fact that this was a COVID-19 transfer, it was necessary to address the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) process for the entire team in advance.
This wing to wing operation provided the patients’ quick response time working with our partners as well as allowing both operators to utilize the available aircraft in their fleet as a suitable solution for the client. The patients were then successfully repatriated to their home country.