by Maya M. Padillo
Davao City-based aviation Company Fiesta Airways is expanding its airborne medical services in Mindanao and Visayas.
Owned and managed by the AYP Holdings Inc, Fiesta Airways is currently offering medical evacuation services or medivac (air ambulance) for patients who need to be airlifted using the company’s airvan and experienced pilot ensuring fast and safe transfer to any medical hospitals in Mindanao and Visayas.
AYP President Albert Pingoy in an interview said AYP will offer more airborne services next year with the coming of medical equipment bought from Dallas (United States) that include a cardiac monitor, respirator, and IV pumps.
“It is an ICU on wings. I just got back from Dallas to get all these equipment. Medivac is a combination of an aviation and medicine,” Pingoy said.
Apart from the medical equipment, Pingoy said he also acquired a Learjet35A and a 206 L3 helicopter to the AYP fleet for medivac services. Both have radius of around 2,500 miles that can reach Thailand, northern part of Darwin, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. He said the Bell 206 L3 is a seven-seater helicopter will be used for charter and at the same time for medivac.
“We are currently complying regulatory papers because no one knows how to handle who,” Pingoy said.
Pingoy said they can perform first aid while transporting to the hospital. He said his business plan aims to fill the gap and mediation of the client’s golden time by giving initial medical interventions airborne in pre-hospital setting.
“We have the best hospitals here like SPMC. Now it’s a reverse migration Manila patients are now sent to Davao. We are looking at offering medical transport system. Gwapo na atong hospital masalbar ka kung makaabot ka sa hospital. Ang problema kung dili ka kaabot sa hospital,” he said.
He also said he is eyeing to launch his services in the upcoming Medivac Expo next year in Davao City.
“Hopefully we can launch our services during the expo. We will invite them to come here,” he said.
Tagged the first in the Philippines, Fiesta Airways is the only aviation company that offers not only medical services on air but also general aviation services like charter flights, air cargo, air surveillance, medical evacuation, etc.
“We did four to five medivacs already for the last six months. We fly from Davao to GenSan back to Davao also in Cebu and Cagayan,” Captain Steve Maravilla said.
Fiesta Airways’ aircraft can transport time-sensitive cargo and deliver it on time. The company also offers clients desired destination and fly them there conveniently fast and easy.
“Whatever will be the cargo as long as it would exceed the maximum weight is allowed in the aircraft,” Maravilla said.
Maravilla said they can fly anytime except night time.
“As long as the airplane can land and with permit but we preferred runways and airstrips,” he said.
Presently, the company is utilizing an Airvan GA8, which is an eight-seater Australian made aircraft with 300 horsepower.
All in all, the company owns eight aircraft with some being utilized for trainings while the others are for charters, the Cessna 172 (2 units and a three passengers aircraft) and the Airvan GA8 .
“The bigger the aircraft the greater the engine and the fuel consumption is greater,” he said.
Maravilla said they are also utilizing the airvan for aerial tours to attract tourists.
“Three days ago we have Chinese bloggers/tourists for a tour,” he said.