24/365 Contact : +33 607 770 924

e-mail : contact@airstretcher.fr

Helping families. Helping insurers.

Helping families. Helping insurers.

Helping families. Helping insurers.

Helping families. Helping insurers.


The lower-cost option to long-haul air ambulances.

Whether you are a family needing to pay for a medical evacuation or an insurer looking for options in international medical repatriations, we are here to help.

Air Stretcher specializes in transporting the sick and injured by approved medical stretchers on international commercial airlines. This is a very competitive alternative   to long-haul air ambulances

24/7 150 Countries 350 selected providers

24/7 Operations

Commercial airlines

Medical professional


About Us

Our highly experienced leadership team drives our quality and effectiveness.
No two cases are the same, demanding creative thinking, proper resources, and a focus on completing the job. But we do not cut corners, working in partnership with airlines to meet very strict requirements.

Flight and associated arrangements are made through an IATA agent with extensive experience in complex ticketing needs with medical cases and specific knowledge of companie’s rules.

24/7 150 Countries 350 selected providers


– Diane Heckel-
Air Stretcher Founder and General Manager

Diane’s experience is rooted in the exceptional learning ground of the Caribbean and her founding of IWIA in 2006.

With under-resourced medical care standards in the region, air ambulance transfers to University Hospital in Martinique (operating to French standards) are a common medical requirement. So too medical repatriation on long-haul private air ambulances or stretchers on international commercial airlines to the US, Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Diane is passionate about exploring all practical options to help people with medical evacuations.

– Dr. Annette Girard-Claudon –
Annette is a qualified doctor within
the French licensing system.

Annette has spent hundreds of hours in private air ambulances and managing patients on medical stretchers on long-haul commercial flights. She is also part of the medical team of an internationally renowned airline, where she assesses cases for medical clearance.

Annette’s responsibilities are: Vetting and selecting local air ambulance providers for medical transfers to international commercial airline airports. Competence of medical teams and escorts used to bring home patients safely.

– Maya –
Air stretcher operations manager

With experience handling over 1500 medical repatriation cases, including international air ambulances and medical stretchers on commercial airlines, Maya is our operations Manager.

Maya oversees the management of the Air Stretcher team based in Paris, France. They liaise with the medical desks of all major international airlines, book tickets for the patient and family, arrange transportation at each end and monitor cases from start to finish.

AIR STRETCHER is a sister company of International West Indies Assistance with its vast operational experience in working with families and insurers across the world’s major cities and in remoter destinations. We maintain appropriate and internationally recognised insurance cover to satisfy the needs of companies and give comfort to individuals and families.

24/7 150 Countries 350 selected providers

Travel agent

We have partnered with a highly experienced IATA travel agent with extensive experience in the complex ticketing needs of medical cases to deliver:

  • Compliance with airline’s needs for compliance and safety.
  • A wealth of knowledge in pre-flight requirements such as vaccinations, the changing requirements over COVID and other medical requirements.
  • The experience and flexibility to work with local rules and procedures to ensure the departure of the patient and give support to the family.
  • The vitally necessary, and regular, contact with the airline’s medical and other clearance desks and be part of the Air Stretcher solution

How we operate ?

Our pre-repatriation work ensures all angles are covered safely so that you do not have to worry. 

  • You will get a complete cost breakdown and the available options. Not only for a medical stretcher on a commercial airline but also for ground ambulances or air transport at points of departure or return.
  • You can compare our commercial airline option with other air transport option and see the massive difference
  • Our medical team will carefully assess each case and determine the in-flight medical care needed, such as doctor, nurse or specialist care.
  • We will contact the treating medical facility to obtain release from the hospital (Fit to Fly Form required by commercial airlines for all medical cases).
  • We will deal with the complex medical requirements of the airline. We will work with their medical desks and advisors to ensure high standards are met. This includes loading, in-flight care, equipment and medication.
  • We will work closely with everyone necessary to complete the mission. This includes local air ambulances providers, ground ambulance companies and treating medical facilities.
  • Family members and travel companions are also important. We will arrange international commercial airline tickets.
  • We will look after all other steps from hospital to home.

Safety and care during the flight

  • Our network of doctors and nurses are in-flight specialists with many hours of experience in aviation medicine.
  • The medical equipment used is designed for use on commercial airlines and certified by aviation authorities.
  • Our vast experience in long-haul medical repatriation will ensure that the right amount of medical oxygen is carried on the aircraft.

Arriving home

  • We will ensure that an appropriate hospital is briefed and ready to accept the patient.

24/7 150 Countries 350 selected providers

Why use us ?

We specialize in transporting critical care patients internationally by stretchers on commercial airlines. This includes patients in a coma or otherwise need intubation and ventilation.

Our vast experience links a wide range of services into a complete package. Working with hospitals, ambulance transport by air or road and the logistics of family needs – accommodation, air tickets and special needs.

Our attention to patient safety, care, and operational ability meets the stringent requirements of travel insurance companies, international health plan providers, and large organizations. Plus, the global airline industry’s rules and codes of practice.

Situations where our services are valuable:

  • There is no travel insurance or international health care plan to pick up the cost.
  • Insurance cover has been declined or restricted due to an uncovered illness or injury.
  • The cost of medical treatment in the locality is expensive and mounting up day by day.
  • The standard of medical treatment in the locality is inadequate, or the environment is unsupportive, e.g., language barriers and daily needs such as food/personal care.
  • Pending on your contract,(if you have one,) the insurer or travel medical assistance company may only pay for costs in a seat and not on a medical stretcher. This means that you need to stay longer in a place you do not want to be in.

ancillary services

Needs differ. It could be help to bring home one of your children, mother, father, partner or friend and find a hospital. And to support you.

  • Providing a travel companion to a patient or elderly person where they are returning home seated. Our travel companions are registered nurses or paramedics. They will help with personal needs throughout the trip, not just on the international commercial airline flight.
  • Booking business class seats accompanied by a qualified in-flight physician or nurse. This requires medical clearance from the commercial airline.
  • Looking after accompanying family with airline ticketing and accommodation.
  • Providing a translator in the overseas location to work with the treating hospital.
  • Finding a hospital bed in the home town or city.


Do not worry we handle everything from start to finish, including organising and communications. We are with you step by step throughout the whole process.


  • No insurance cover or low levels of coverage
  • Wanting to come home but do not want to wait for a seat-only offer
  • Not being able to afford the cost of a private air ambulance
  • The need to have the family together on one flight and without luggage being sent by separate means.


the world is our space as we follow our
preferred airlines routes!

We can bring you home even
in difficult situations

Being hospitalized far from home , in a foreign country, without one’s family and in an unfamiliar environment
 is an experience that must be as short as possible.




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