|The Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA) took delivery in December of an Airbus A318 as part of the expansion of its air support capabilities. At present, the expansion targets about 35 aircraft in total, including fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters.
The Airbus A318, which will initially be operated for the SRCA by Perfect Aviation of Portugal, will serve in a medical evacuation (MedEvac) role, including the transport of injured persons to hospitals – both within Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East.
“Our Airbus A318 will be able to carry more passengers than traditional corporate jets, and the larger space that its cabin provides will also make it easier for doctors and nurses to attend to patients. Also, worth mentioning is the superior underfloor cargo capacity, which will allow the SRCA to carry relief equipment and first-aid supplies to disaster areas,” says Saudi Red Crescent Authority Chief Executive Officer Dr Mowaffag Albayouk.
Like the Airbus A318, all of the SRCA’s air fleet will be designed and commissioned with multi-role capabilities. “MedEvac and relief transport is obviously the main objective, but some of our larger aircraft, such as the A318, will have other capabilities, such as serving as airborne command centres during crisis scenarios, rapid transport of senior EMS personnel to and from incident sites, and non-emergency air transport of critically ill patients,” explains Dr Mowaffag.
With flexible interior configurations which can quickly and efficiently be adapted to suit specific mission requirements, larger aircraft such as the A318 will also retain their conventional configurations, allowing the SRCA to offer them on charter arrangements. The goal is to maximise the utility of the fleet and reduce operational overheads, while also generating external funds to benefit the full scope of SRCA’s humanitarian activities.
“This latest deal highlights the versatility of the Airbus Corporate Jetliner Family, which already fulfils a variety of diverse roles, including governmental flights, corporate shuttles and VVIP transport,” comments Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers John Leahy.