Regional high ranking airline Bluebird Aviation says the number of travellers seeking emergency medical attention rose significantly in the last quarter of 2020.
The airline said it recorded more emergency medical request in 2020, fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bluebird Aviation General Manager, Captain Hussein Mohammed said while the number of patients seeking to be evacuated to qualified medical facilities took an upward trajectory, the airline did not record any COVID-19 patient during the period under review.
“So far we haven’t carried a COVID-19 patient, but we have seen emergency medical requests soar in the last several months. That was an upshot compared to the previous years,” said Captain Mohammed.
Bluebird Aviation offers medical evacuation and lifting of medical supplies services through strategic partnership with Kenya Red Cross Society spanning over the last 20 years.
The airline has an aircraft configured for medical emergencies and access to full-service doctors and nurses ready for emergency missions especially in remote parts of the country.
“We are always on standby for emergency evacuations. Our business relation with Kenya Red Cross is twofold. There is Kenya Red cross Society which deals with relief in areas affected by calamities and disasters then there is E-plus, a unit that offers emergency medical evacuation and uses our medical emergency configured aircraft,” said Captain Mohammed.
According to Captain Mohammed, many healthcare centres experienced pressure due to rise in demand for medical services, fuelled by COVID-19 pandemic.
“This development led partly to the rise in emergency medical evacuation requests as patients look for the best means to get them to health facilities outside their jurisdiction,” he said.
Following a relationship that spans over 20 years with the Kenya Red Cross Society, Bluebird aviation has effectively responded to emergencies and disasters in the country and across the region.
Among major national evacuations handled by Bluebird Aviation and Kenya Red Cross Society include the 2015 Garissa University College terrorist attack that left 148 people dead and 79 injured.
Other sensitive missions include emergency relief to vulnerable populous in Kenya and the larger region.
Bluebird Aviation is the leading provider for scheduled, non-scheduled and ad-hoc air charter services within the Eastern and Central African region and beyond.
Bluebird Aviation has grown into one of the leading air charter companies in the region, catering for not only the humanitarian sector but private and government institutions as well.