LifeFlight named ITIJ Air Ambulance Company of the Year

LifeFlight Australia’s fixed wing Air Ambulance fleet, aviators, aeromedical crew and support staff have been officially recognised as the best in the world, after being named ITIJ Air Ambulance Company of the Year.

LifeFlight Air Ambulance Operations Manager Tyson Smith

It recognises LifeFlight has shown resilience to market pressures, demonstrated innovation in the face of adversity, and risen above expectations to maintain the quality of services provided to the international travel and health insurance sector.

LifeFlight Australia is a world-leader in aeromedical-care, offering long-distance, multi-patient jet air ambulance solutions from bases on two continents. LifeFlight’s fleet includes four of the longest-range medically configured jet aircraft in the South Pacific.

“To be named ITIJ Air Ambulance Company of the Year is an incredible honour. It is a tribute to the professionalism, dedication and care shown on every mission, by every member of the fixed wing crews and the teams of engineers, co-ordinators and administrators who support them. We are grateful to the judges who rigorously assessed our service in numerous categories,“ said LifeFlight Australia CEO Ashley van de Velde.

The prestigious industry accolade was presented to LifeFlight Australia Air Ambulance Operations Manager, Tyson Smith at the ITIC Global conference in Barcelona.

“This award was presented to our business – LifeFlight Australia; but it is really an award for our people who genuinely go above and beyond to give the best possible service to our patients, their families and our clients,” said Mr Smith.

Starting with a single aircraft in 1979, LifeFlight has established a continuous, sustainable cycle of investment in aircraft, aircrew, engineering, safety, training and operational excellence that now sees the business operating one of the most capable rotary and fixed wing AME fleets globally.

2023 has been LifeFlight’s most successful year, with 520 patients airlifted during more than 1,400 hours flying time, with jets tasked to far-flung locations including Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Dubai, and Las Vegas. The longest mission ran a significant 34.9 flight hours.

“All this was achieved without a single major incident. A commitment to excellence is a core value of LifeFlight and one of the most important pillars of that, is an absolute uncompromising commitment to safety” said Mr van de Velde.

Proudly LifeFlight’s fixed wing fleet is the only service of its kind in Australia to be officially recognised by EURAMI, and one of only three to gain accreditation in the Asia Pacific region.

In 2023, LifeFlight expanded and relocated its Singapore operations to a new base that reaches all locations throughout Asia, the West Coast of America, and parts of Europe, as well as working wing-to-wing with an extended network of providers to reach other destinations.

We also configured a best-in-class cabin space ideal for facilitating complex transfers like Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump, neonatal, bariatric and Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation transfers.

What sets LifeFlight apart from other Air Ambulance service providers, is our pre-hospital retrieval medicine specialists, registrars, flight nurses and flight paramedics. We are the largest pre-hospital retrieval medicine employer in Australia, with 180 Critical Care Doctors operating under LifeFlight’s own clinical governance system.

Further, all LifeFlight’s services are delivered in-house – aircraft, aircrew, engineering (under CASA Part 145), medical crews, training and checking, HSSE and operations – we do not subcontract the critical elements of our business.

It is this integration, coupled with LifeFlight’s profit-for-purpose strategy of redirecting profits back into its iconic charity to deliver health equity that differentiates the service in the global market. Monies from our social enterprise have co-funded services to help 81,000 people since 1979.

“We are constantly innovating, looking for opportunities to improve and expand our service and excel. Being named ITIJ Air Ambulance Company of the Year gives us more motivation and inspiration to continue to lead the world in the aeromedical sector,” said Mr van de Velde.