German aircraft charter firm FAI is dealing with a huge increase in demand to carry out repatriation flights and medical evacuations as the commercial airlines continue to remove capacity amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
FAI said it has been working “around the clock” to help infected patients and carry out repatriation flights of unaffected healthy individuals from around the world.
The company is currently operating at maximum capacity, averaging around six missions per day with its 10-strong fleet of five Learjet 60s, four Bombardier Challenger 604, and one Global Express air ambulance aircraft.
FAI is supplementing its fleet with business jets.
Following its recent purchase of two portable self-contained isolation units, EPI-Shuttle, FAI can transport infected patients without any risk for the flight or medical crew.
All medevac missions are accompanied by a trained dedicated medical team, for pre-flight temperature screening, and the availability of medical care in flight as required.
Siegfried Axtmann, chairman and founder of FAI Aviation Group said: “We are working hard to fulfil all requests coming in 24/7 for repatriation and medevac flights as rapidly and as efficiently as we can and will continue to do so as long as is practically possible.
“We deeply regret that we can’t help everybody immediately. The demand is such that we currently have a backlog of three days.”
FAI has enlisted the support of all its 70-strong team of pilots to perform duties. The biggest challenge remains scheduling given entry restrictions now in place in many countries around the world many of which are not allowing entry for crew rest and pre-positioning.