Republik & Starship unveil super-fast air ambulance

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Auckland indie agency Republik played a key role in delivering Starship Hospital’s new National Air Ambulance plane, which made its public debut last week. Republik, which won the Starship business from Whybin\TBWA last year, designed the external livery.

The new air ambulance is a King Air 350 turbo prop, and is faster and quieter than the previous plane.

“Starship has the national paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and a dedicated team that can fly anywhere in the country at any time of the day or night to treat a seriously ill or injured child,” says the Starship Paediatric Intensive Care Unit clinical director John Beca.

“It may look fun on the outside – but there’s serious stuff going on in the inside,” he said.

“The high-tech equipment on-board is a mobile intensive care unit with full life-support capabilities. However, we shouldn’t underestimate the value of having a more child-friendly plane on the outside either, as this can help reduce anxiety for the patient and their family at a very stressful time.”

The King Air turbo prop is a popular and safe aircraft. The plane’s long-range capability enables non-stop flights to nearly all New Zealand destinations, and its speed – up to 300 knots (556 km/h) – means it has faster response and retrieval times than the previous service.

The new plane also has the latest avionics technology, including ‘synthetic vision’ giving pilots the safest and most reliable means of navigation day and night.

Starship Foundation raises $1.5 million annually for the Starship National Air Ambulance Service. Anyone can support the air ambulance at  Other major contributors to the Starship National Air Ambulance include Starship Foundation sponsor SKY and Starship Foundation’s regular givers as well as proceeds from the Starship Mobile Phone Appeal and from the sale of Starship Christmas albums.

“We are so grateful to the generous organisations and people from all around the country who help us raise the funds to keep this lifeline for New Zealand families in the air,” says Starship Foundation ceo Brad Clark. “Without their support, we could not provide such a vital service to every child in urgent need of lifesaving care.”

The plane is operated by Skyline Aviation, a privately owned, New Zealand family business led by directors Mike & Annabel Toogood, and with more than 23 years’ experience in rescuing and transporting critically injured or ill patients.



Agency: Republik
Design: George Boussenko
Creative Director: Andrew Sims
Account Service: Craig Abbott and Lisa Brooks
Paint job: Elliott Aviation

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