Author's headshot
Cathy Carothers
Customer Service Representative
Nov 7 2019

How Technology Can Help Lower Air Ambulance Costs

Providing Low Cost Medical Air Transport

How much does air ambulance cost? Costs vary dramatically. Long-distance, air medical transport can be anywhere between $10,000 and $200,000 and the ultimate cost is highly dependent on the price of gas.

Since other costs, like medical personnel, airplane maintenance, and operational costs, are fairly static, the way that we're able to offer the absolute lowest cost air medical transport is by using technology to cut fuel usage.

The two primary ways we are able to use technology to save on fuel are through trip routing and connecting flights.

Connecting Medical Flights

On long trips, like an international medical flight between Los Angeles and Germany, the most expensive part of a trip isn't the patient transport. First the flight crew needs to leave from the closest base to the point of pick up. This might mean flying from Phoenix, Arizona to Hamburg, Germany. After dropping the patient off in Los Angeles the plane has to repositioned once more and fly back to the base. Air ambulance planes generally fly more without the patient than they do with the patient on any given trip.

We recognized this wan a huge problem and decided to use technology to cut fuel costs, so we can offer the lowest cost air medical transport we can.

We transport patients to and from the United States everyday. It became apparent very quickly that in order to offer affordable international air ambulance flights we would need to eliminate flying internationally without a patient on board.

When you call Global Air Ambulance and schedule a trip, we enter your trip details in our database so that they can be cross referenced with other upcoming trips. Patients that are traveling in roughly opposite directions are linked together, so that neither pays for the empty leg of the trip.

For instance, In the case of the trip to Germany. If during the time before the trip we scheduled another patient to be transported from San Diego to Amsterdam we would coordinate with the families to pick the best timing, pick up the patient in San Diego, and transport them to Amsterdam directly before picking up the patient in Hamburg.

By linking trips we waste less fuel, and neither of the patients are covering the fuel costs of repositioning an empty plane. Even though there are still moments when this plane isn't carrying a patient, the total time that the plane flies empty is decreased dramatically. Closer the connections require less fuel, but any fuel saved translates to a lower cost medical air transport. This has been saving thousands of dollars per trip, and those costs are removed directly from the price we quote.

Routing Air Ambulance Trips

Another huge waste of fuel comes from the need to change the flight path or alter altitudes during a flight in order to avoid weather conditions and fly more safely.

In many ways this is a necessary cost because we want to offer the safest possible trip regardless, but technological advancements have made it possible to avoid unnecessary maneuvers by planning for them ahead of time and routing trips through the most efficient path.

Much like commercial planes, air ambulances are able to use cutting edge weather models and routing algorithms to determine the optimal flight path before taking off. Though there's always the possibility of running into unforeseen conditions, these technologies have cut costs dramatically allowing us to provide you with the most affordable air ambulance services.

Affordable Air Ambulance Services

We're always looking for ways to cut costs and offer the lowest cost option for long distance medical transport. As technology continues to advance, we'll continue to innovate. For more information call us at 1800-948-1220 or email customerservice@airambulance.com.

If you're interested in linking with another family's medical transport it's best to start setting up a trip as soon as possible. The more flexible you are with planning, the more likely we'll be able to find a great connection.

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