• Angel Flight's C402 "Kayla" outside the control tower at Archerfield Airport, where it will be based. (Angel Flight)
    Angel Flight's C402 "Kayla" outside the control tower at Archerfield Airport, where it will be based. (Angel Flight)

Angel Flight has launched a new flight service to take important medical staff to rural and outback locations, saving hours of arduous travel.

The first flight of the new Rural Medi-Flight service took BUSHkids medical staff from Archerfield to Cunnamulla and back, a 2.5 hour one-way flight rather than several days of travel.

Angel Flight carried the medics on the newly-acquired Cessna 402 Kayla, named after a passenger who made 400 flights to critical care, but who ultimately lost her battle with illness aged only 23.

One of the medics on the first  Rural Medi-Flight was BUSHkids speech pathologist Rebecca Scanlan.

"It was a great flight and a really successful visit to Cunnamulla," she said. "Being partnered with Angel Flight means that as clinicians our travel time is reduced, and it allows us to spend more time in the community supporting more children.

"It is exciting to work with another organisation that shares the goal of ensuring that rural communities have the same access to support that families living in cities have.”

Angel Flight CEO Marjorie Pagani said the new operation aimed to even-out medical services available between city and rural locations.

“It is widely recognised that the arduous nature of the travel required to get out to the bush is one of the main reasons our doctors and nurses are reluctant to leave the city," Pagani said.

“As the needs of those living in the bush become more pressing, with research suggesting a widening gulf in the life expectancy of those who live in the city with access to the best medical care and those who live in the bush with limited or no access to health care, Angel Flight recognises the need to upscale its services to meet demand.”

From 2021-2022, demand for Angel Flight's core service of free passenger flight  increased  by 30%, but demand for health professional flights increased by 80% with numbers continuing to climb.

Angel Flight says it has responded to the national rural health crisis with the acquisition of the C402, which will be based in Archerfield Brisbane and service rural and remote Queensland.

Angel Flight chose the twin Cessna because Due to the size of the aircraft, it will operate at a fraction of the cost of the larger air ambulance aircraft and have very little limitations on airfields/ports in which it can land.

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