FAQ - Air ambulance
Can we become a contract customer?
If you are interested in long-term cooperation in the field of worldwide ambulance flights, our contract customer department will be happy discuss this with you. We already have firm contractual relationships with renowned doctors and numerous international clinics and hospitals, enabling seamless cooperation. Feel free to contact us and together we can devise a solution tailored to your requirements.
Do I have to become a member of your organisation?
The Deutsche-Privatjet medical transport service is not a members-only organisation, so there are no memberships. We even fly outside of your protected insurance conventions and carry out ambulance flights all over the world, even if:
- You are not personally insured.
- Your insurance company cannot, or does not agree to, cover the costs of the patient repatriation.
- The patient's fitness to fly is questioned by the treating doctors.
- You are seeking a patient transfer at your own request.
Will my insurance company cover the costs of the ambulance flight?
Unfortunately, there is no universally applicable answer here, as insurers determine the assumption of costs in different ways and for each individual case. Sometimes the entire cost of a patient transfer via air ambulance is covered. In other cases, a partial reimbursement of the total costs will be made. We would be happy to arrange a personal consultation with you to clarify the likelihood of your insurance company taking over the costs.
What equipment is an ambulance aircraft fitted with?
All the ambulance aircraft we use are equipped with intensive care medical equipment suited to the aircraft type. For each flight, this standard equipment is supplemented with the medical equipment required for the patient's specific situation. This flexibility ensures comprehensive patient care at all times.
The standard equipment of an ambulance jet includes, among other things, the following medical equipment:
- Intensive Care Unit, with vacuum mattress if required
- 6,000 litres of medical oxygen, plus optional additional tanks
- Multiparameter intensive care transport monitor
- Critical care ventilation devices, including for complex ventilation patterns
- 12-channel multifunctional ECG machine
- Pulse oximetry and blood gas analyser
- Biphasic defibrillator and external pacemaker
- Satellite phone for worldwide communication.
Please note that this is only a sample listing. Our medical department always adapts the composition of the equipment in advance in each individual case, depending on the patient's health condition.
Can I choose the ambulance aircraft myself?
Yes, of course. With Deutsche-Privatjet you can decide for yourself which aircraft will be deployed for your patient transfer. You can choose your preferred ambulance aircraft from a wide range of models of ambulance jets and turboprops. Naturally, we will happily accommodate your request and can advise you on your decision. For this, we take into account factors such as the amount of baggage, number of accompanying persons, length of flight route, patient health status, etc.
Which aircraft are used to carry out ambulance flights?
We always choose a suitable ambulance aircraft with the aim of ensuring the best possible care for the patient. In addition, factors such as the flight route, the number of accompanying persons and affordability play an important role in the choice of aircraft.
We generally use several different medical aircraft that have sufficient ranges and high speeds, making them suitable for air ambulance flights and medical repatriations on short, medium and long-haul routes. We use the following models, for example:
- Bombardier Learjet 31, 35, 35A, 36, 45, 55 and 60
- Bombardier Challenger
- Cessna Citation CJ2, CJ3, CJ4, Bravo, Sovereign and Mustang
- Embraer Phantom
- Gulfstream 100
For patient transfers over short distances, turboprop ambulance aircraft can be a cost-effective alternative. They can land on small airfields with short runways that are often closer to the patient’s destination than conventional airports. This helps to reduce the patient’s journey time. After consultation with you, we will be happy to use a turboprop air ambulance if it is a sensible option and you prefer this type of aircraft. Possible models are:
- Beechcraft King Air 90 and 200
- Piper Cheyenne III A.
For flights with a large number of accompanying persons, we use Dornier aircraft. For VIP patient transports we deploy Boeing (BBJ) ambulance jets or other well-known models from other manufacturers.
Please note: with us, you have the choice and can select your preferred aircraft model as far as this is technically possible. We will be happy to advise you on the selection of a suitable ambulance aircraft, taking into account factors such as baggage volume, number of accompanying persons, flight route, patient's health status, etc.
Who will arrange transport for the accompanying persons?
In most cases, the accompanying persons registered for the flight can travel with the patient in the ambulance or emergency vehicle. If this is not possible, we can arrange suitable transfers to or from the airport for them.
Can you help me organise medical treatment abroad?
No problem! We will be happy to help you organise medical treatment abroad. Whatever the destination country is, we will also handle communication with your desired hospital or clinic and take care of all the formalities. We would also be glad to organise the patient transport flight, as well as ground transport from the airport to the desired hospital. On request, we can offer you comprehensive assistance during your stay in the hospital. We will also be happy to provide you with experienced, multilingual staff to make your medical treatment abroad as pleasant and uncomplicated as possible.
Can my family doctor accompany the patient on the flight?
As long as the medical conditions allow, your family doctor can travel with the patient as an accompanying person at any time. However, a general practitioner is not a substitute for the highly specialised medical crew on board the ambulance aircraft.
What language do the flight doctors speak?
We always try to assemble a medical crew that speaks the patient’s native language. It goes without saying that clear and direct communication during the ambulance flight contributes significantly to the wellbeing of everyone on board the air ambulance. This also increases the patient's confidence in the doctors and crew.
Can you help us overcome language barriers in the hospital?
Communication problems on site can prevent you from getting important medical information about the patient's condition. In this case, we would be happy to support you. We can conduct doctor-to-doctor telephone conversations in the respective language and can obtain the relevant medical information for you. This is usually sufficient when preparing a patient transfer.
In addition, we can provide you with an interpreter or send a multi-lingual flight doctor who will be able to talk to the doctors on site and get a personal picture of the patient's state of health. Please let us know when we start planning the patient transport, so that we can provide you with medical personnel who speak the patient's native language. In addition to all European languages, we also cover various Arabic languages.
Can the patient take their wheelchair on board?
If the patient wishes to take a wheelchair with them on board the ambulance aircraft, please inform us in advance so we can take this into account when planning your ambulance flight. Large electric wheelchairs or battery-powered models can usually only be transported on board a large ambulance aircraft due to their size and considerable weight. Smaller, folding wheelchairs can usually be accommodated, even in smaller aircraft.
How much baggage can the patient take on board the ambulance aircraft?
Hand luggage can always be carried on ambulance flights. The carriage of any further luggage depends on the size of the ambulance aircraft used. Due to the extensive medical equipment on board, most ambulance jets can only accommodate one piece of carry-on baggage per passenger. On ambulance flights in larger ambulance jets, there is much more room for your luggage. Of course, you can choose your own ambulance jet and even book a larger aircraft if you want to bring a large amount of luggage with you. We will be happy to advise you on all questions regarding baggage allowances for ambulance flights and medical repatriations.
Can family members accompany the patient on board the ambulance aircraft?
At least one relative or friend can accompany the patient on the vast majority of patient transfers and ambulance flights. Depending on the size of the ambulance aircraft we deploy, there is often room for several accompanying persons. We would be happy to plan a patient transfer or medical repatriation for you, tailored to your individual case.
Who can help us communicate with the hospital and doctors?
Our staff is multilingual and even less well-known languages are represented by native speakers, so we can help you communicate with the hospital involved at any time. If required, we can also send a suitable interpreter or multilingual doctor to support you anywhere in the world.
Depending on the country we are flying to, we also schedule international personnel for ambulance flights where possible, in order to ensure direct and clear communication between all the parties involved.
The hospital treating the patient is uncooperative - What can I do?
Sometimes hospitals refuse to provide the necessary medical documentation or do not want to release the patient because he or she is judged to be unfit to travel. There are various reasons for such decisions: In addition to the financial aspects, the reluctance of the treating doctors to take responsibility often plays a key role.
But that worry is unfounded since our flight doctors will take full responsibility for patient transfers by ambulance aircraft. That is why only they can decide whether a patient is fit to fly. Our flight doctors have many years of experience and extensive expertise in the field of ambulance flights and flight physiology. Therefore, they are best placed to assess whether a patient is able to travel or not. Please contact us at any time. We will be happy to help with all the details for your ambulance flight. Together, we will always find a solution.
The hospital is refusing to disclose medical information. Is this allowed?
In most countries of the world, it is customary to give patients and their families medical reports on the patient’s health status in a timely manner. If the hospital does not issue a medical report or discharge papers, it often helps if you insist on your legal rights. If your efforts are unsuccessful, contact us so that we can jointly insist on your rights. Due to their high workload, the doctors treating the patient often simply do not have time to prepare the necessary reports. In such cases, our medical personnel can have a doctor-to-doctor conversation with the hospital to resolve the issues.
The hospital is refusing to discharge the patient. What should we do?
Only in rare cases can a patient be detained in hospital against their will. This applies, for example, to patients who have just had an operation or people who pose a danger to themselves or others.
Nevertheless, there can be other situations in which the treating hospital is opposed to the planned transfer flight and refuses to release the patient. Here, it can be helpful to strongly emphasise the point that the patient should be discharged at your own risk. If the hospital does not agree to this, please contact us at any time. Even in complex situations, we always work in a solution-oriented manner and do everything we can to ensure the wellbeing of our patients.
The hospital doctors are urging us to sign a declaration releasing them from any liability. What should we do?
If, in the run-up to the ambulance flight, our flight doctors have judged the patient to be fit to fly, you can rely on their competence. In this case, you can sign such a declaration to get the patient discharged from hospital at your own risk.
Our medical professionals have many years of experience and extensive expertise in the field of ambulance flights and flight physiology. Therefore, they can best assess whether the patient is fit to travel or not. Thanks to the extensive intensive care medical equipment on board an ambulance aircraft, we can transport even the most seriously ill intensive care patients swiftly (and in medical safety) anywhere in the world.
Does the hospital decide whether the patient is allowed to fly?
In short, no. Many doctors working in hospitals are not aware of the level of medical care available on board an ambulance aircraft. That is why they often fear taking responsibility for the transport of sick patients. This worry is unfounded. The decision about whether a patient is allowed to fly is always and exclusively made by the accompanying flight doctor. If the treating hospital considers that the patient is not fit to fly, you do not need to accept this decision. Please feel free to contact us. We can simply have a doctor-to-doctor conversation to clarify the details of the case and will gladly help you to find the best solution for the patient in any situation.
Who decides on the patient's fitness to fly?
The decision about the patient's fitness to travel is made exclusively by our doctors, because they ultimately bear the responsibility for the ambulance flight.
Our flight doctors have many years of experience and extensive expertise in the field of intensive care medicine and flight physiology and are therefore best able to assess the patient's fitness to travel. Of course, if there is any doubt, our doctor will consult with the doctors attending the patient and will be sure to involve the patient's family in important decisions.
On occasion, the attending doctors will not allow the patient to leave the hospital to take an ambulance flight. Most Common Reason: some doctors on the ground are reluctant to take responsibility for patient transfers by plane, or are afraid that they will be held liable. Sometimes economic reasons can also play a role. In this case you can rely on the assessment of our flight doctor: Since most ambulance aircraft are equipped with modern intensive care medical equipment, even ventilated intensive care patients can be transported safely, following a stroke or heart attack.
How is an ambulance flight organised?
When we receive your enquiry, we will clarify any questions about the planned patient ambulance flight with you and will prepare an individual quotation for you. You can then discuss this with your family and friends. We always keep the necessary correspondence clear and simple.
After completing all the flight preparations, we will send you an offer in writing, in which you will find the exact flight schedule including flight times, meeting points, pick-up times, etc. Once you have accepted our offer, we will begin organising the ambulance flight and will obtain all the necessary permits (e.g. overflight and landing permits, etc.). You can pay for your ambulance flight by bank transfer, credit card or even cash.
I am looking for a reliable medical repatriation service - have I come to the right place?
The Deutsche-Privatjet passenger repatriation service has many years of experience in the field of national and international ambulance flights, international medical repatriations and patient transport. Our clients include private individuals, government organisations and top international companies.
Deutsche-Privatjet’s ambulance flight department can organise not only your patient transport, but also a range of comprehensive services to complement the flight. We can collect patients from anywhere in the world and provide direct and clear communication in a variety of languages for all the parties involved. On request, we personally ensure smooth processes and direct communication with doctors and hospitals on site.
Can we help you with any further questions? Would you like a free, non-binding quotation for your request? You can reach us 24 hours a day. Contact us now:
What facilities does an ambulance aircraft have?
All ambulance aircraft have special intensive care medical equipment comparable to hospital facilities aboard.
If needed additions to the basic equipment can be made to assure the patient gets the best medical care.
How quickly can a medical flight be organised?
Air ambulance flights and repatriations from abroad can be provided in the shortest time. It often takes only one hour between the placing of order and the start of the ambulance flight. This is possible because an air ambulance will be given priority in the regulatory process and there are also specially trained medical crews permanently on call.
How much does an ambulance jet cost?
Costs of ambulance jets depend on numerous variables. Not only the scope of the required medical care patients need throughout the flights, but also aircraft types or airport fees play a major role. No matter the circumstances we always work out the most cost-efficient solution for your patient transfer without lacking quality of medical care.
Are repatriation flights possible from every country?
Medical repatriation flights are possible at any time and from any country. It does not matter whether the patient is located in a well-developed tourist area or an undeveloped area.
Considering all transfer variables, we organize the entire return by air ambulance, and on request, the coordination of ground transfers.
Is the air ambulance accompanied by a doctor?
Each ambulance jet flight is accompanied by an experienced doctor and his assistant. In this process we pick the medical team referring to the disease the patient is suffering of. Upon request, we provide your air ambulance with medical personnel speaking the patient‘s native language.
Are all patients able to fly?
From injured tourists to intensive care patients, almost all patients can be flown by an air ambulance. Only certain disease patterns would make a transport by air difficult, but not necessarily impossible. In order to coordinate the flight and the best medical care for the well-being of the patient, we need a medical status report prior to departure. Based on these documents, we review the transportability of the patient, select the medical personnel and plan the air ambulance flight.
If there is no medical report or only one written in a foreign language available, we will develop an individual solution.
What documents have to be available?
Depending on the flight routing other travel documents (VISA) for the patient and their travelling companions may be required in addition to the documents necessary for medical evaluation. In this case, we will be pleased to assist you 24/7 in obtaining the documents if needed.
Are there any alternatives to ambulance flights?
In addition to air ambulance charter, a PTC (patient transport compartment) is used when transporting patients who require intensive medical care. This service is available on a limited number of routes and enables critical care patients to be transported cost-efficiently but still being in intensive care on a scheduled flight. We will assist you in selecting the most economical transfers available for the completion of the entire air ambulance transport.
Who is responsible for ground transportation to the air ambulance?
Upon request we will coordinate all necessary ground transportations in appropriate vehicles. Whether by prone taxi, or an ambulance, in the shortest time possible we will work out the most economical ground transportation adapted to the needs of the patient in the shortest time possible.
May family members accompany the ambulance?
Depending on the medical status of the patient, its relatives and friends can accompany the air medical transport. In general, an air ambulance can be accompanied by only one relative, but in selected air ambulances, larger support groups are possible, even if the patient requires intensive medical care.