Canadian pivot for domestic and international commercial medical escorts: Jet Companion joins the International Assistance Group

Paris, France, 28 May 2024 – We are delighted to welcome Jet Companion as an Accredited Service Provider to the International Assistance Group. This gives our partners an additional resource for medical stretchers and escorts on commercial airlines using Canada as a hub for domestic, international and multi-leg missions.

With its team of trained physicians, nurses, and advanced care paramedics, Jet Companion links to 191 countries to provide solutions for many low to high-complexity cases where a dedicated critical care air ambulance is not clinically necessary. The benefit rests with potentially lower costs without seeking to compromise medical care.

With insurers seeking to contain costs and commercial airline transport solutions decreasing, it is important for our partners to have an increasing number of options at their disposal,’ stated Louise Heywood, International Assistance Group’s General Manager.

Passing the International Assistance Group‘s ISO 9001 vetting process is a wonderful achievement. We are thrilled to be now an Accredited Service Provider to such a respected alliance of independent assistance companies,’ added Rudy de Kort, Jet Companion’s CEO.

Founded in 2019 to link Canada’s vast area to city-based services, Jet Companion grew rapidly through commercial medical escort operations to Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe. Today, this extends to Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific with an end-to-end service, including wing-to-wing transfers. Able to call on a medical team of 20 people, 70 international transportation cases were handled in the last 12 months.

Portuguese-speaking Africa: Viscura appointed Assistance Partner

Paris, France, 29 April 2024 – We are delighted to announce that Viscura Internacional has been appointed as an International Assistance Group (IAG) Assistance Partner for four Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa.

Viscura’s appointed areas, including Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé & Principe, and the popular tourist destination of Cape Verde, face many challenges. These include language barriers, limited medical facilities, and supply shortages. In each location, additional factors can further complicate medical cases, such as unstable security, human rights and humanitarian situations, or weak infrastructures driven by poverty and climate shock. Understanding and navigating those factors underscores the crucial role of Viscura’s assistance.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Viscura pioneered an adaptable approach to medical assistance. They established a virtual, nurse-led unit based in Lisbon, specifically designed to cater to the needs of the Portuguese-speaking community, especially in challenging locations. This innovative team is connected to local medical directors in each country, ensuring comprehensive support through telemedicine and comprehensive medical case management.

The assistance unit works with partners in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

On being appointed as an IAG Assistance Partner, Manuel Silva, Viscura’s CEO, stated, ‘We are thrilled to have passed the IAG’s vetting process and are now recognised as an Assistance Partner.’ He added, ‘ We are keen to participate in the collaborative nature of the IAG and help partners resolve challenging cases in our countries of focus.’

It is exciting to have such a focused company join us as an Assistance Partner,’ stated IAG’s General Manager Louise Heywood,’ These are demanding places for the expatriate and travelling communities. The status of Assistance Partner is a commitment to all partners within the IAG to deliver a quality service.’

Viscura’s commitment to social responsibility involves facilitating emergency medical training for doctors and nurses, primarily through American Heart Association courses. The program commences with agreements to train and certify doctors and medical personnel in Cape Verde. They hope to initiate the program by 2025.

Increased commitment in West & Central Africa: Cameroun Assistance Sanitaire

Paris, France – 22 April 2024 – Our Correspondent since 2012, Cameroun Assistance Sanitaire (CAS), has strengthened its commitment to the International Assistance Group by successfully obtaining Core Partner status.


In addition to its base in Cameroon, CAS alarm centres are situated in Libreville (Gabon) and Conakry (Guinea), broadening that commitment in West Africa. These platforms and their regional knowledge may go some way in assisting in the Central African Republic, Chad and Republic of Congo, where the setting can be dangerous, volatile or restrictive.


As a complete medical assistance provider, CAS’s clients include notable companies in oil & gas, mining, construction and other commercial activities directly. Furthermore, well-known names in the insurance and assistance industries serving travellers and expatriates.


Due to recent success in securing some government contracts with outbound travellers, Cameroun Assistance Sanitaire has invested in Core Partner status to access our extensive global network.


After over ten years with the International Assistance Group we are delighted they have stepped up from correspondent status to become an accredited Core Partner”, commented the IAG General Manager, Louise Heywood.


CAS’s commitment to providing medical care in under-resourced environments includes investment in a dedicated clinic at the seaport and beach resort of Kribi in Cameroon, on-site services for expatriates and medical and paramedical personnel training. Additionally, they operate 11 dedicated ground ambulances to provide an immediate response and guide to the best available care within the limited options available.

Learjets from South Africa. Universal Air Evac joins us as an Accredited Service Provider

Paris, France, 28th March 2024 – Providing two permanently configured Learjet 35 air ambulances, Universal Air Evac has joined the International Assistance Group as an Accredited Service Provider. We are delighted to have this additional capacity in our network as tourism and business travel returns to South Africa and neighbouring countries.


Universal Air Evac places great emphasis on safety and quality. Apart from the International Assistance Group’s ISO 9001 vetting process, they are also an accredited provider of EURAMI. Additionally, the organization is under the expert medical supervision of Dr. Glenn Staples, who is well-known in the assistance industry and within the IAG community.


Permanently configured for adult and paediatric ICU cases and with a 2000 nautical mile range, each Learjet 35 can undertake no-stop/one-step missions encompassing southern and central Africa, with longer-range cases into North Africa and Europe within realistic scope.


To ensure quick, regular, efficient and safe aircraft maintenance, Universal Air Evac is proud to be part of Africa’s largest general aviation company, National Airways Corporation ( NAC), South Africa offers some excellent medical facilities, and these air ambulances will help to connect a large area with very high standards of care.

Albanian Intercare Services steps up to Assistance Partner as inbound tourism soars

Our former correspondent, Albanian Intercare Services (AIS), has successfully applied to become our Assistance Partner. Formerly correspondent and the hosts of our first EduTour in October 2022, which was a resounding success and set the benchmark for those to follow, we are delighted that they have undertaken another step to advance their valued relationship within the International Assistance Group.


AIS is a full-range assistance provider covering medical cases, telemedicine, roadside, third-party administration, security, and legal services. Their capability to respond to large-scale situations was recognised in 2019 with a Certificate of Gratitude from Albania’s Emergency Center Office for their help during the Earthquakes that year.


We are firmly committed to being the leading assistance company serving the West Balkans’ increasing volume of inbound travellers,’ stated Margarit Dado, AIS’ General Manager & CEO. He added: ‘Our collaboration with IAG partners at a higher level will result in improved quality and a push for local providers to strive for international standards.’


Growth in inbound tourism has been remarkable. Between January and September 2023, 8.3 million inbound visitors were recorded. In 2013, the complete year saw 3.4 million, according to the Albanian authorities.


With such rapid growth, infrastructure faces challenges. AIS will provide a valuable resource throughout the assistance case life cycle, including directional care, arranging primary healthcare doctors through to case monitoring, and keeping a careful eye on costs.


Founded in 2017, AIS has a solid reputation in the assistance industry, extending to Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Bosnia Herzegovina.

Africa’s Renowned AMREF Flying Doctors are now our Assistance Partner in Kenya and surrounding countries

Paris, France, 1 February 2024  – We are delighted to welcome AMREF to Assistance Partner status within the International Assistance Group.

Having been an Accredited Service Provider within the group since January 2015 for air ambulance services, they now provide the full range of assistance services that meet the selection criteria for our Assistance Partner status.

From their base in Kenya, their Assistance Partner status for all inbound travel will also cover Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. They are also able to assist in the Central African Republic and Djibouti when possible.

Having served so many IAG Partners over a long period of time with our air ambulance services, we are extremely pleased that we can now formally offer a wider range of medical assistance services over such a large area’, stated Jane Munyua, AMREF Flying Doctors’ Medical Assistance Manager.

Renowned for its air ambulance capabilities for over 66 years, AMREF’s in-depth and on-the-ground experience will now provide partners of the International Assistance Group with additional services such as the

  • guarantee of hospital payments and related costs
  • follow up on medical reports
  • arrangement of flight tickets and hotel accommodation for patients and their next of kin
  • ground transfers by taxi
  • help with lost or stolen documentation and luggage
  • emergency cash advances
  • repatriation of mortal remains and funeral assistance
  • house calls for bedside assessments
  • medicine dispatch
  • homecare assistance

In addition, they also provide medical escorts on commercial flights within the African region and to the rest of the world.

AMREF Flying Doctors is a commercial entity that supports the more significant work of Amref Health Africa, a non-governmental health organisation employing over 1500 people within 100 projects in poor or marginalised populations throughout Eastern Africa.

With the future development of healthcare professionals and managers critical to the region, Amref Health Africa has established its own International University offering Certificate and Diploma Courses and undergraduate and Postgraduate degree courses.

Twice winners of the prestigious ITIJ Air Ambulance Provider of the Year Award, AMREF Flying Doctors is accredited by EURAMI for Long-range / Intercontinental Fixed Wing Air Ambulance, Regional Fixed Wing Air Ambulance and Commercial Airline Medical Escort. This includes Medical Endorsement as an adult critical care provider.

Universal Assistance strengthens commitment to the International Assistance Group

Paris, France, 22 January 2024 – Our Correspondent in 10 Latin American countries has successfully applied to become our Core Partner Branch in Uruguay, which we are delighted to announce.


Well-known and valued by many partners, Universal Assistance joined our network in 2010.

Becoming a Core Partner Branch is a welcomed commitment. It will allow access to our unique Globus database, global network and operational tools, facilitating the transmission of outbound cases to our IAG Partners.


A leading player in assistance and travel insurance in Latin American markets, this has been achieved through digital innovation and a dynamic strategy in multi-channel marketing. Apps have been developed for mobile medical self-assessment, a virtual assistant for travellers pre-travel, during and after travel, and a VIP offer, including lounge access if flights are delayed. Online services include telehealth and claims management.


Since 2018, Universal Assistance has been part of CoverMore, the global Zurich Insurance Group’s assistance and travel insurance brand.


Universal Assistance underwent the IAG’s ISO 9001 vetting process and expert peer review, ensuring that high standards are met at this critical membership level. They will remain our valued correspondents in Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Peru.

Advancing the commercial airline benefits. Air Stretcher was appointed as an accredited service provider

Paris, France, 21 December 2023 – Arranging medical stretchers on commercial airlines often poses numerous challenges. Therefore, we are delighted to announce that Air Stretcher has been appointed as an Accredited Service Provider to provide additional expertise and resources.

With over 17 years of experience arranging medical stretchers from the Caribbean and surrounding area to Europe and further afield, Air Stretcher’s founding company, International West Indies Assistance (IWIA), undertook extensive international research to set up a dedicated global unit in 2022 operating from Paris, France.

‘Our service is unique in the assistance market’, stated Diane Heckel, Air Stretcher’s Founder and General Manager. She added: ‘We go beyond the airline booking transaction with in-depth knowledge of the medical process and the ability to provide clinical teams to support transportation globally.’

‘Costs are under constant scrutiny by insurance companies and corporations, ‘ stated Louise Heywood, IAG’s General Manager. ‘The appointment of Air Stretcher aims to support those partners looking to push the total, or partial, commercial airline option further up their scale of consideration with a flexible menu of solutions.’

Using an assistance mindset, Air Stretcher also works with major airlines who are able to take stretchered patients to facilitate clearance, as well as with approved local air ambulance providers and assistance companies to deliver multiple-leg solutions, increasing the potential reach of a mission.

Since its foundation in 2022, Air Stretcher has built enhanced relationships with airline medical contact points. Air Stretcher is able to book a whole stretcher file (on Air France for example) in 24 to 48 hours, with oxygen, provided patient’s medical necessary information has been communicated.

Air Stretcher’s appointment as an IAG Accredited Service Provider came after a vetting process compliant with ISO 9001.

Acclaimed Athens Medical Group joins our select list of Accredited Service Provider hospitals

Paris, France, 7 November 2024 – We are delighted to announce that Athens Medical Group (AMG) has joined our alliance as an Accredited Service Provider.

‘While we hold extensive information on thousands of hospitals across the globe, it is a special step for a medical facility to go through our ISO 9001 vetting process and become an Accredited Service Provider,’ stated Louise Heywood, International Assistance Group General Manager. She added: ‘Accredited Service Providers benefit from our knowledge-sharing activities, gaining a more global insight into the needs of the traveling and expatriate communities.’ 

AMG’s reputation is endorsed with numerous certifications and acknowledgments for their ability to provide an international standard of advanced medical care in Greece, also attracting a great number of international patients, mainly in the European Interbalkan Medical Center (EIMC) in Thessaloniki, the spearhead of the outward-looking strategy of AMG.

To support its expansion in the medical tourism field and to improve the international patient experience and journey, AMG created the International Patient Center in 2013.

This center offers 24/7 a wide range of services to international patients throughout all stages of their care, with the valuable assistance of its dedicated personnel. 

These services extend beyond clinical aspects, to translation and to door-to-door concierge services for travel, accommodation, and transportation. 

To further support any medical needs of international patients around the clock, AMG offers 24/7 emergency services, supported by a fleet of ambulances and authorized contact persons.

One contact, 130 languages. Lexxika becomes an Accredited Service Provider to the International  Assistance Group

Paris, France, 25 October 2023 – We are delighted that specialist assistance industry translation service Lexxika has joined our growing list of Accredited Service Providers.

After identifying the need for speed, availability and keen pricing, Lexxika established a specialist 24/7 solution for the assistance and insurance industries in 2017 after ten years of generalist experience.

Lexxika’s approach has secured some significant brands in both assistance and insurance.

‘The assistance world is dynamic, urgent and demands that a translation service is adaptable to challenges such as handwritten documents and medical scans, as well as formal documents’, said James Austin. Lexxika’s Commercial Director. He added: ‘Joining the International Assistance Group is a tremendous opportunity for Lexxika to support a diverse range of independent assistance partners across the globe with such needs.’

With official documentation, certified translations can be produced for medical reports, death and repatriation papers and marriage certificates. Such expertise extends to insurance policies and marketing materials, demonstrating Lexxika’s technical ability.

“We are delighted to have Lexxika join our organisation as the only translation and interpreter service adding to the variety of accredited service providers available for our partners to access in the knowledge they have passed a stringent selection process” said Louise Heywood, General Manager.

The selection process used by the International Assistance Group is accredited by ISO 9001.

In addition to their core business in assistance, Lexxika has established an insurance fraud unit to provide multi-lingual support for investigations, interviews, and research at this more technical level.