WestJet announced an extension of its partnership with MedAire, an International SOS company that provides emergency medical assistance to cabin personnel during in-flight medical events. As the first airline in North America to fully leverage the MedAire In-Flight App, WestJet cabin personnel now have multiple ways to connect with MedLink doctors during a medical emergency.
"The first fifteen minutes of a medical incident are the most critical to administer care, and through our efforts to prioritize safety above all, we are committed to providing our cabin crew with the best tools possible to assist our guests in the event of an emergency situation. Through the efforts of our operational teams, the deployment of the MedAire In-Flight App will reduce the amount of time it takes to connect with a first responder and greatly improve the likelihood of a positive outcome."
Dr Tammy McKnight, WestJet Chief Medical Officer
By combining technology, decades of expertise, AI assistance and text-based communication tools, WestJet cabin personnel will have frictionless access to the world's leading emergency medical physicians to ensure unwell passengers receive timely, accurate medical support.
"Crew members are the first responders during in-flight medical events," said Dr Paulo Alves, Global Medical Director of Aviation Health at MedAire. "Their role is critical in ensuring guests' medical concerns are accurately assessed and communicated to the flight deck and the ground-based medical team. However, limitations in communication equipment throughout the cabin can make this challenging. Having the app guide a first responder through the most common and life-threatening events onboard helps them deliver on that responsibility."
MedAire assists most of the world's airlines with more than 200 in-flight medical issues daily and has managed hundreds of thousands of in-flight medical events over the last 35+ years. The MedAire In-Flight App leverages the extensive knowledge of medical events that occur onboard and complements existing MedLink medical advisory services by
Improving communication tools for flight crew to reach MedAire's MedLink doctors.
Providing intuitive, guided patient assessment instructions for a crewmember to capture vital information that expedites care based on the type of medical emergency.
Offering efficient and easy access for the flight crew to quickly engage MedAire's MedLink doctors for assistance during medical events.
In 26 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees and more than 100 destinations in 23 countries pre-pandemic.
Since the start of the pandemic, the WestJet Group of Companies has built a layered framework of safety measures to ensure Canadians can continue to travel safely and responsibly through the airline's Safety Above All hygiene program. During this time, WestJet has maintained its status as one of the top-10 on-time airlines in North America, as named by Cirium.
MedAire, an International SOS company, has been a partner to the aviation industry since 1985; the aviation industry's proven leader for integrated travel risk management solutions to over 180 of the world's leading airlines and over 4,000 private aircraft, including 75% of fortune 100 companies. Integrated solutions include aviation security intelligence, real-time health and security advice and assistance, training, medical equipment, and professional services for crew and passengers in and beyond the cabin. MedAire handles thousands of calls annually to help crew and passengers manage medical and travel safety events in the air and on the ground with 24/7 access to emergency care doctors, nurses, and aviation security specialists.