40th Anniversary of TAA: A journey through time

July 5, 2016


1976 to 2016: Looking back on 40 years of air ambulance operations

2016 is a special year for TAA, as it marks the 40th anniversary of our first international air ambulance flight. To commemorate this important milestone, we invite you to take a look back with us through some important moments in TAA’s history:


July 5, 1976: The very first international ambulance flight of TAA (known at the time as “Aircraft Innsbruck”) took to the sky. A Citation 500 departed from Innsbruck Airport in the morning. The two pilots were accompanied by a doctor and a nurse. The team picked up an Austrian tourist in Athens, Greece. Some three hours later, the patient was handed over safely to local doctors in Salzburg. TAA’s first international repatriation via air ambulance jet had been successfully completed.

1978: Company was re-named to “Tyrolean Airways” and offered air ambulance services under the newly created sub-brand “Tyrolean Air Ambulance”.

1980: First air ambulance shuttle flight (so-called “plaster flight”) took place, bringing holidaymakers who were injured while skiing from Innsbruck back home to the Netherlands.

1981: A travel insurance product known as “Notfallticket” (emergency ticket) was introduced in co-operation with an Austrian insurer – a medical insurance for European travellers.

1983: “Tyrolean Air Ambulance” became an independent company.

1986: First intercontinental air ambulance flight took place.

1988: Doctors and rescue dogs were transported by Tyrolean Air Ambulance in order to rescue earthquake victims in Armenia.

1991: Chernobyl intervention: The company transported victims of the Chernobyl disaster, including children suffering from cancer, from Minsk to Innsbruck for proper medical treatment.

1995: Air rescue business segment was outsourced to the “Christophorus Air Rescue Association”.

1997: First multiple patient transports from Mediterranean countries took place. Start of air ambulance “shuttle flights” from major tourist hotspots around the Mediterranean Sea.

1999: Management buy-out and incorporation of TAA to “Welcome Air”, which was founded in 1995.

2000: Company was re-named to “Tyrol Air Ambulance”.

2005: Deployment of company aircraft to Thailand in order to repatriate victims of tsunami.

2011: Mass transport of over 180 Libyan war-wounded from Libya and Jordan.