Christmas 2021

Santa won't be the only red-belly in the sky this Christmas

Date published

25 Dec 2021

Tis the season to put your feet up – however, the Royal Flying Doctor Service will continue to provide 24/7 care over the holiday period.

Last year between Christmas Eve (24 Dec) and Boxing Day (26 Dec) the RFDS brought care to 301 people across Australia.

Of these, 34 patients were emergency aeromedical retrievals and 267 were inter-hospital transfers (where patients were flown between hospitals for specialized care, or happily, repatriated to get closer to home for the Christmas period).

There were 49 patients that had to be transported due to accident or injury and 53 who were suffering from a heart attack or stroke. There were also 10 women flown to a tertiary hospital for pregnancy or childbirth issues, and 27% of those cared for over the 3 days of Christmas were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Elf in RFDS Plane 2021

In total, RFDS crews across the country made 301 red-bellied flights, covered 210,413 kilometres and spent 623 hours in the air over the three days of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  Santa would have been proud. 

As Australian’s take a well-earned break this Christmas the red-belly planes of the RFDS will be in the air providing service to those that need it. 

Whilst the pilots, doctors and nurses of the RFDS hope for a ‘Silent Night’, if something does go wrong, RFDS crews will be available 24/7 across the 7.69 million square kilometres of this large continent to ensure people get the help they need.  We thank them for their commitment and their skill. 

The RFDS also want to say a special thank you to all Australians for your ongoing support and trust.  It is this support that lets the RFDS continue the work we do – and we urge everyone to stay safe and take care this holiday period.


Lana Mitchell:  0401 946 282, or email: