This fall marks the 25th year in business for Fox Flight Air Ambulance, a Canadian-owned company specializing in international medical repatriation. President and owner David Fox and his wife Rowena launched the company in October 1997, originally as a nurse escort service on commercial flights. Today the company operates a fleet of three specially configured Lear jet ambulances out of its office and hangar facilities in Toronto and counts many of the largest travel health insurance providers in the world among its clients.
“It’s amazing to look back now and see how far we’ve come as a company,” says Fox, who is a registered critical care nurse himself. “It started out with just me going on flights on my days off from my regular nursing job at the hospital. Then more and more requests for the service started to come in, so we started hiring more nurses to do flights and it just snowballed from there.”
Fox eventually left his regular nursing job so he could focus on Fox Flight full-time. In 2002, the company took a major step forward with the purchase of its first air ambulance, a Cessna Citation, and began providing air ambulance services primarily for Canadians vacationing in Florida and the Caribbean. “It was a very simple operation then and I was still flying most of the missions as the on-board nurse,” recalls Fox.
As demand for Fox Flight’s air ambulance services grew, in 2005 the company decided to expand its range with the purchase of a Lear 35 air ambulance. That move allowed Fox Flight to begin repatriating North American travellers returning from the UK and continental Europe and proved to be a major turning point for the company. “Expanding into Europe allowed us to increase our business throughout the year, rather than being dependant on the winter travel season in Canada,” Fox explains. “We were able to establish steady routes to Europe and develop relationships with travel insurance clients that we maintain to this day.”
Fox Flight would go on to expand its fleet again in 2006 with the purchase of a second Lear 35, then a third in 2013. A fourth jet, a Lear 36, was added to the fleet in 2014. Along the way the company also moved to expanded hangar facilities at Toronto Pearson International Airport, added its own maintenance department and moved from its original office, in a small suburban townhouse, into a large modern head office with a dedicated dispatch area and a secure storage facility for medical supplies. In 2018 and 2019, the company upgraded its entire air ambulance fleet from the 30-Series platform to the larger and more technically advanced Lear 40-Series. A Lear 45 was added to the fleet in June of 2021. Fox Flight eventually grew to employ a staff of more than 60 employees flying upwards of 300 missions per year.
Fox Flight has been fully accredited by the Cologne-based European Aero-Medical Institute (EURAMI) since 2009 and is a member of the Travel Health Insurance Association (THIA Canada), the US Travel Insurance Association (UStiA) and the Paris-based International Assistance Group (IAG). In 2020, Fox Flight was honoured by IAG with the group’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award. That same year, Fox Flight was profiled in SKIES, Canada’s leading aviation publication – https://foxflight.com/fox-flight-featured-in-skies-magazine/ “The pandemic was tough on the travel industry, but we got through it and now we’re seeing the industry getting back to those pre-pandemic levels,” says Fox. “I’m so proud of the way our company was able to take on the challenge of the pandemic, especially the way we stepped in to help out during the hospital ICU crisis in Canada. But we’ve been around for 25 years now for a reason: we know our business and we provide a quality service for our clients.” In 2021, Fox Flight was named “Team of the Year” by Canadian SME magazine, a publication dedicated to small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs in Canada, for its vital work transporting COVID-positive patients during the ICU crisis in Canadian hospitals at the height of the pandemic.
About Fox Flight
Founded in 1997, Fox Flight Inc. is a Canadian air ambulance company providing international, 24-hour, emergency medical transport, bed-to-bed stretcher evacuation and patient escort services on commercial flights. Fox Flight employs a staff of fully licensed physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists as well as highly experienced pilots and aviation maintenance technicians. The company’s fleet of dedicated, fixed-wing air ambulances consists of specially configured Lear 40XR and 45XR jets equipped with the latest in advanced intensive care medical technology. Fox Flight’s head office and hangar facilities are located in Toronto.