July 6, 2001:
Air ambulance charter company, Cega Aviation, has announced a fleet expansion with the purchase of a Beech King Air B200. The aircraft made its maiden voyage for the company with a trip to Ostend, Belgium after undergoing eight weeks of modifications. Managing director Graham Ponsford said: “The King Air suits our needs perfectly, it has plenty of space in the cabin and a good size door for loading. Also, as 40 per cent of holiday makers travel to Spain, its 1,500 mile range fits the run perfectly.”
Cega is a family run business, with brothers Graham and Clive Ponsford sharing managing directorship. Its fleet now includes three King Airs (two 200s and one 90) and a Piper Seneca 2. The Beech 90 also caters for the non-medical charter market, but this represents only a small portion of Cega’s business.
The purchase marks an expansion in the company, which Ponsford relates to his company being the only service which provides its own medical staff, linguists and pilots. Ponsford said: “The ongoing improvements in medical technology mean the market is constantly evolving, while hospitals are able to treat patients who are more and more seriously ill.”
The company says its business follows seasonal trends, as Ponsford explained: “At this time of year,
with many families and youngsters travelling abroad, there are more acute trauma-type injuries arising from road traffic accidents, for example. Alternatively, in winter more elderly people travel to
avoid the weather, and they can suffer from strokes or heart attacks.” The aircraft also comes equipped with an incubator to cater for premature babies.
The aircraft fly Europe-wide, but sometimes Chichester-based Cega finds it more practical to use local operators. Ponsford said that this had been the case recently when the company brought somebody back from the northern part of Norway, in the Arctic circle.