Alpha Star Building Medevac Business in Saudi Arabia

 - March 14, 2019, 8:15 PM
John Paladino, medevac consultant for Alpha Star Aviation Services, has seen Alpha Star's air ambulance missions grow to about 15 percent of the charter and management firm's total operations. (Photo: Peter Shaw-Smith)

Aircraft management and charter operator Alpha Star has grown into a key medevac provider in Saudi Arabia. Operating two A320s, an A319, two Gulfstream G450s, two Hawker 900XPs, an ATR 42-600, and two ATR 72-600s, Alpha Star points to its range of options for its air ambulance services.

The Gulfstreams, Hawkers, and ATRs generally do air ambulance missions, and one of the A320s could also fly such trips, Alpha Star CEO Abdulnasser M. Al-Kheraif told AIN.

“We're moving intensive care patients, coronary care, multisystem trauma, as well as the standard two broken legs kind of basic life support patients,” Alpha Star flight paramedic John Paladino told AIN at the Saudi Airshow. “I would say 90 percent of our missions are within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is very big. So we cover many of the remote cities like Tabuk and Jizan. We see many patients moving back into Riyadh or into Jeddah because that's where the trauma and specialty care centers, the burn centers, those kind of areas, are {located].”

Around 15 percent of Alpha Star’s operations are devoted to medevac today. “Alpha Star flies between 20 and 30 [medevac] trips a month, on average,” he said. “Each flight could be between three and five hours, depending upon where we're going. Obviously, if we're going international, it's a lot longer.” Flights to Europe and the U.S. also take place, with one to three stops, depending on aircraft type.