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Local Company Flies High With International SOS

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Local Company Flies High With International SOS

Skyline Aviation Ltd has announced today a significant deal with highly respected global company International SOS. While not a household name in New Zealand, International SOS is world renowned for its provision of medical assistance, international healthcare, security services and outsourced customer care for people travelling and working internationally.

Teaming up with Skyline Aviation Ltd, one of the New Zealand's busiest and most experienced aero-medical providers, they will provide International SOS with a specialist medical aircraft resource that can be called upon at any time, if required.

Founded in 1992 by Hawke's Bay businessman Michael Toogood he sees this latest business deal as not only commercially advantageous for Skyline Aviation Ltd but significant for the South Pacific region.

"I have huge regard for International SOS and the work they do around the world. To partner them is both significant from a commercial and credibility perspective."

Jeremy van de Klundert general manager of International SOS confirmed their stringent international audit requirements had to be met in order for Skyline Aviation Ltd to even be considered.

"The arrangement we have entered into with Skyline Aviation Ltd is essentially about saving peoples' lives or removing them from a situation where they are medically or physically at risk. We must have complete faith in our business partner's ability to be able to complete the necessary tasks required. The announcement of this partnership today confirms we absolutely have confidence in Skyline Aviation Ltd."

The pride of Skyline Aviation Ltd's fixed wing fleet is the recently purchased King Air B200C.This is the aircraft International SOS will call upon for evacuation purposes, for members requiring assistance within three hours of its take-off point in Napier.

Mr. Toogood believes it is arguably the best fixed wing air ambulance currently operating in New Zealand. "The turboprop King Air is equipped with a two stretcher 'Lifeport system' capable of flying two intensive care patients and two clinical teams non-stop to any destination in New Zealand or the Chatham Islands."

Mr. van de Klundert confirmed it was this aircrafts specialist medical outfitting that attracted them to approach Skyline Aviation Ltd. "Additionally it has huge cargo door and specialist lifting devices for ease of transporting stretchered. It really is a great asset for International SOS to be able to call on." The aircraft is pressurised and can maintain a sea level cabin pressure up to 15,000ft, flying at approximately 270 knots. The aircraft would be flown by two pilots and has a flight-cell satellite telephone system, another essential component Mr. van de Klundert says.

"This allows International SOS's call centres and clinical teams based around the world to be able to communicate with the pilots and medical teams onboard, relaying vital medical history that is essential to the safe treatment of patients."

The partnership will be officially launched at a function at the Hawkes Bay Airport in Napier this afternoon at 3pm that will include the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable John Key.


About International SOS

International SOS ( has global operations in over 70 countries, spanning five continents. The company provides clients with a comprehensive portfolio of medical and security services to ensure that people travelling and working internationally have access to immediate help. International SOS' services range from 24-hour medical advice, referrals to qualified doctors and hospitals as well as provision of emergency medical and security evacuations when there is a critical illness, accident or civil unrest. In 2008, the company handled over 1 million assistance cases, including 18,000 medical evacuations.

About Skyline Aviation Ltd

Since 1988, Skyline Aviation has grown in order to meet the demands of its strategic clients and now operates two dedicated rescue helicopters in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne together with a third helicopter which provides back up rescue services, commercial and charter operations. The company also operates three fixed wing aircraft, two of which are principally committed to the company's aeromedical programme contracts and a third which provides additional aeromedical capabilities, and charter services. The company has safely transported over 13,000 patients throughout the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Skyline has an impeccable safety and service record and operates to the highest standards established by the NZ Civil Aviation Authority and other recognised aviation standards. Although the company is a specialist aeromedical provider, they also provide charter and commercial services nationwide utilising both helicopter and fixed wing aircraft.

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