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.
Airbus designs, builds and supports the world's most modern airliner family, from which the company's corporate jets are derived.
As part of the world's most modern airliner product-line, the Airbus ACJ Family is the only one that is truly young at heart throughout, with the newest fuel-saving aerodynamic design, the latest weight-saving structure, and reliable state-of-the-art systems and controls - including the new industry standard, fly-by-wire.
The Airbus ACJ Family comprises the A318 Elite, ACJ and A320 Prestige, and is complemented by VIP versions of the company's widebodies, which offer even more space and comfort, as well as "non-stop to the world" range. More than 160 Airbus corporate jets have been sold worldwide.