Having run an online air ambulance service targeting high-net-worth individuals with three King Air C90s for the past eight years, New Delhi-based Book Air Ambulance has introduced the first-ever membership in India that it calls “cashless and affordable air ambulance” service. With the service, Book Air Ambulance, a venture of Flaps Aviation, intends to address the serious medical issues of patients from small communities who need to travel to the five the country's metro areas—Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Chennai—for treatment.
The unique membership plan costs less than $70 a year for a family of six. It includes a free, bed-to-bed hospital transfer flight from one town or city to another. If used for a second time in the same year, a 50-percent discount is offered on the approximately $920 per hour fare, said Flaps Aviation founder and CEO Capt. Amit Kumar. He told AIN that India loses 43,000 lives annually to heart attacks in smaller towns and cities with no access to advanced medical care. “The King Air is a proven aircraft that can land and take off at most of the 450 smaller airfields of the Airports Authority of India. It can fly high so turbulent weather does not affect the patient and operating costs are low,” Kumar explained.
The company is in discussion with collaborating with some insurance companies to cover air ambulance transfers. Kumar said he expected growth of around 30 percent in the next five years.