The brand name UNICAIR was formed after a lot of discussion about how best toshow our values and foremost commitment: UNI, indicating the idea of being united and unique, CAIR, indicating that we care and provide excellent medical care, but also that we are an aviation company whose natural backyard is in the air. Within the next few months, the brand UNICAIR will be transferred to a new legal entity, under which Air Alliance Medflight and Jetcall will be fully integrated.
UNICAIR will be led by Felix von Waldow (FvW), who will be primarily responsible for finance and HR, while Michael Diefenbach (MD) is leading the air ambulance operations and the alarm center. René Petersen (RP), a pilot himself, is responsible for flight operations and maintenance, while Prof. Dr Alex Veldman (AV) is the Medical Director.
Dedicated air ambulance fleet widens scope of operations
FvW: This merger was not a buyout of one organisation absorbing another, but a merger of two very successful air ambulance companies, both of which managed exceptionally well through the Covid-19-induced collapse of the tourism market. While we are convinced that the now rapidly recovering travel market will support a diverse landscape of air ambulance operators, we do see significant strength and advantages of an organisation that will command one of the largest dedicated air ambulance fleets in the European – and probably global – market.
MD: Jetcall and Air Alliance Medflight have been in very detailed and intense discussions about the benefit and synergies of a potential merger for more than 18 months in total. During these interactions, the senior leadership of both organisations as well as the parent investor group came to realise that the two companies would complement each other perfectly – and that combining the large organisational structure, fleet and maintenance operation of Air Alliance with the medical expertise of Jetcall and the flexible operational concept of a boutique air ambulance operator, would in fact create something that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Consolidating the two companies’ operations for greater efficiency
RP: The two companies operate a very similar fleet. We are currently integrating both fleets and flight crews, creating a portfolio with three Challenger 604, four Learjet 45 and eleven Learjet 31/35, all of which are dedicated air ambulance aircraft.
AV: To combine the medical expertise and teams of two established organisations is a dream come true! While we plan to operate under the Jetcall SOP framework and medical leadership, the addition of the Air Alliance medical teams and equipment adds a plethora of experience, expertise, and first-class medical hardware. We are currently carefully reviewing the complete organisation with the privileged task of choosing the best of two operating systems that already perform on an incredibly high level and forge those components together to build something even more powerful and innovative. I truly believe that UNICAIR will contribute significantly to advancing the quality of care we deliver in the skies – and that patients will benefit from a big-data driven and outcome-focused approach to aeromedical transport.
RP: We are currently in very close discussions with the relevant authorities, mainly the Luftfahrtbundesamt, with the aim of determining the opportunities and limitations of operating the UNICAIR fleet on either the Air Alliance or the Jetcall AOC. A final decision has not been made yet, however, we feel that both are probably viable options. We will definitely combine the fleet on one AOC in the future.
What does it mean for insurer clients of Jetcall and Air Alliance in terms of pricing?
FvW: We do see significant operational synergies and gains in these two companies coming together and are convinced that this will be reflected in a very competitive product for the travel insurance market. With such a large fleet and pool of fixed contract professional personnel we will be able to offer top medical expertise and excellent availability for a very attractive price – keeping in mind that we are not aiming to offer the cheapest solution on the air ambulance market but a safe, reliable, comfortable and affordable transport for ill and injured patients back home to their families.