Allianz Global Assistance, world leader in travel insurance and assistance solutions, and the International Space Transport Association (ISTA) have signed a unique partnership agreement in anticipation of the inevitable growth in space tourism and commercial space flight. The two partners are committed to accompanying travelers before, during and after their space flight to ensure that their unique galactic experience, as well as the experience of their families back on earth, will be as safe, serene and comfortable as possible.
Virgin Galactic recently announced that the first commercial flight is being scheduled for October 2012. In the next few months Allianz Global Assistance will start contacting space liners, space scientists, travel agents, space travellers, and consumer organizations.
It is for the first time ever that the space industry acquires insurance for this type of mission profile. Insurance companies and the space industry never came to a mutual agreement on insurance for commercial, sub-orbital space flights.
“ISTA aims to bring together the space industry and its users. It has never been done before that space travelers and space line operators alike can obtain insurance coverage”, says Director-General Ronald Heister.
“We currently provide yearly insurance coverage to more than 30 million people worldwide”, comments Erick Morazin, Director of Global Accounts, Allianz Global Assistance. “At Allianz Global Assistance, we are looking into space tourism as a new market for the next generation of travellers. Our partnership with the International Space Transport Association (ISTA) demonstrates our support and interest in the Space Travel industry.”
Allianz Global Assistance is currently co-developing a full range of travel insurance with ISTA for space tourists, space scientists and space liners, such as Virgin Galactic, Xcor and SpaceLinq, and medical assistance solutions, as well as expert advice and personal services for space travellers. Allianz Global Assistance aims to accompany them and their families from A to Z – from the preparatory phases to their return home. Morazin: “Space is decidedly our new frontier and we are now ready to take this giant leap forward to ensure peace of mind and well -‐ being of all our future space — travelling customers.”
Taras Ploshchansky, Director Legal Affairs of ISTA Headquarters in The Hague, continues: “Our aim is to meet the needs of this new industry in terms of worldwide representation, guidance and support. Taking passengers, cargo and payload into space will require establishing and implementing new laws and regulations, as well as research, marketing and communication practices. We are delighted to enter this new travel era in partnership with Allianz Global Assistance. With our combined knowledge, expertise and experience, we will be able to provide a comprehensive range of professional services to all concerned space travellers, scientists, organisations, members and governing bodies.”
A commercial spaceflight presentation and celebratory luncheon will take place November 14 at the Spherium Space Trade Center in The Hague. Both Erick Morazin and Taras Ploshchansky will be present. During this event, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic and Mr. Viktor Vekselberg, director of the Russian Skolkovo Foundation together with internationally acclaimed Russian cosmonaut, Dr. Sergei Zhukov, will receive the first ISTA Awards honouring them for their distinctive and pioneering achievements in commercial space transport and innovation.
Allianz Global Assistance/ISTA partnership
Also during the event, Erick Morazin will publically announce the Allianz Global Assistance/International Space Transport Association partnership and elaborate on some of the space travel insurance and assistance solutions currently being developed.
Allianz Global Assistance
How can we help? Allianz Global Assistance, in some countries operating under the name Mondial Assistance, is the international leader in assistance, travel insurance and health, life & home care services. Today, Allianz Global Assistance counts more than 10,783 employees who speak 40 different languages and work throughout the world with a network of 400,000 service providers and 180 correspondents. 250 million people, or 4% of the world’s total population, benefit from its services, which are provided on all five continents. Mondial Assistance in the Netherlands is to become Allianz Global Assistance by the end of 2012.
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International Space Transport Association
A whole new sector is emerging and evolving around spaceflight, space training, space cargo, space hotels and many other activities: The space economy. The increasing economic value of the activities of the space economy is turning it into a consumer driven industry. This process demands the efficient functioning of an independent organisation, acknowledged by the stakeholders, which may control, support the reputation and maximize the economic value of the space industry, accomplishing this in a sustainable way. The International Space Transport Association (ISTA) is meant to fulfil these tasks with a key focus on consumer related space activities worldwide. The conviction on the enormous potential of the commercial space industry explains the ISTA commitment to secure its successful development from infancy to maturity.