The Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA) has received a A318 jetliner from Airbus that will expand its air support capabilities.

The A318 will serve in a medical evacuation role for transporting the injured to hospitals within Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East.

The aircraft will be able to carry more passengers than traditional corporate jets and the larger cabin space will allow doctors and nurses to more easily attend to patients.

SRCA CEO Mowaffag Albayouk said that the plane’s underfloor cargo capacity will also allow the SRCA to carry relief equipment and first-aid supplies to disaster areas.

“Some of our larger aircraft, such as the A318, will serve as airborne command centres during crisis scenarios, rapid transport of senior EMS personnel to and from incident sites, and non-emergency air transport of critically ill patients,” he said.

The aircraft will initially be operated by Portugal’s Perfect Aviation for SRCA.