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Lusa - Business News - Cabo Verde. Airline carries 100 stretcher patients this year

Praia, Oct.26,2020 (Lusa) - Cape Verdean airline TICV aircraft have evacuated on almost 100 people this year on stretchers between the islands of the archipelago, an increase of 67% compared to the same period in 2018, the company announced on Monday.

In a statement, Transportes Interilhas de Cabo Verde (TICV) said that by October the total number of patients in medical evacuations on the airline's planes had reached 400.

Of those, 100 were carried on stretchers - a number that compares with 60 in 2019, also until October - and "a significant part ensured on flights specially made during the suspension of domestic connections," which was in force from the end of March until July 15, due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The company adds that in 2018 it carried out a total of 578 medical evacuations, a number that rose to 675 in 2019, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Security and Cape Verde's health authorities, and within the commercial passenger flights it carries out in the archipelago.

Quoted in the communiqué, the company's commercial director said that medical evacuations contribute to 15% of ICTV flight delays, but that "they were only possible due to the dedication of several actors", from the team to the airport company and the health authorities on each island.

"Our teams try to ensure the best conditions for medical evacuations and that, even on a stretcher, they have favourable conditions to be transported, even with privacy, which minimises travel inconveniences and makes the process as painless as possible," added Marina Ferreira.

She added that TICV "more than anyone else" knows the "difficulties and costs of travel" in a country like Cape Verde, hence highlighting the importance of this type of operation, which guarantees to follow "the agreed protocols and instructions" as well as the international standards defined by civil aviation entities.

The company noted about a year ago a million passengers carried in Cape Verde and provides air links to seven islands of the archipelago with three ATR-72 500, with capacity for 72 passengers, and says that this operation has been gradually recovered since July 15.

The company has been taken to court in Cape Verde in recent years on two occasions, awaiting a final outcome, for refusing to carry out medical evacuations, arguing, as a basis for its teams' decision, that national and international standards for this type of transport had not been met and that such unauthorised evacuations posed a risk to the passengers and crew of their flights.

A specific allocation of 600 million escudos (€5.5 million) is in this year's Amending Budget for the purchase of an "emergency aircraft", through the Ministry of Defence (Coast Guard), to ensure medical evacuations between the islands, currently carried out by commercial flights.

The Coast Guard had a Dornier aircraft, but it has since become inoperative and will be sold.

"The government understood that the cost of maintaining the Dornier was much higher than the cost of buying a newer, more reliable aircraft that would be better suited to do evacuations and patrolling," said Deputy Prime Minister Olavo Correia earlier.



Agency : LUSA

Date : 2020-10-27 09:28:00


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