Specialized aerial ICU (Intensive Care Unit) service is the biggest beneficiary for patients looking for beds for the treatment of COVID-19 in other states.
By João Paulo Moralez
While commercial aviation has seen an unprecedented crisis in its entire history, general aviation has seen an increase in demand in recent months – especially with aircraft equipped with aerial ICUs.
In Brazil, São Paulo and Brasília are the most popular destinations for customers located in the north and northeast in search of beds.
The demand increased by 30% and the flights in this case are only performed when there is a place in the destination hospital that will receive the patient.
Large companies and even the Unified Health System are the ones that most request this type of flight, in which case they hire specialized air taxis to move a patient from a remote location to large urban centers.
Today, in Brazil, there are only 46 executive aviation companies that are authorized for this type of operation and in one month the demand has grown by 50%.
In March, at the beginning of the crisis, there was also a significant increase in international flights departing from Brazil to other countries. The main customers in these cases were tourists who were prevented from flying by commercial airlines to their countries of origin. It is estimated that in March, Latin America as a whole recorded a 69% increase in this type of flight. The amounts charged by companies have also increased, doubling in some cases, compared to March 2019.
Executive aviation has also been an option in a market where many routes have been abandoned by major airlines. Although more expensive, the passenger has flexibility in the schedule and is around 20 times less exposed to the Coronavirus when compared to a trip in a commercial airplane. In Florianópolis, for example, the business aviation movement surpassed those of commercial aviation by almost 29%.