Air rescue service has "busiest year ever"

The Swiss Air Rescue Service (Rega), 60 years in existence, had its busiest year ever in 2011 with 14,240 missions, according to the service’s annual report.

This content was published on April 11, 2012 minutes and agencies

The iconic red and white helicopters were called into action 10,797 times, including more than 2,000 night flights.

Rega’s three ambulance jets carried out 698 missions last year while medical teams accompanied ill or injured patients back to Switzerland 147 times on passenger flights.

In November last year the non-profit Rega was taken aback by the launch of a rival airborne ambulance service by the Touring Club of Switzerland (TCS), in partnership with a Zurich-based company, the Alpine Air Ambulance (AAA).

TCS, a motorists’ association with 1.6 million paying members, arranges the safe return from abroad of some 800 people every year as part of its travel assistance package.


Rega is supported and funded by nearly 2.4 million patrons who benefit from its services free of charge, provided that these costs are not covered by a health or accident insurance.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?