The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Monday notified that 132 flights have transported over 184 tonnes of medical supplies across the country, under the “Lifeline UDAN” initiative.
According to a release by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, these flights were operated to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country to support India”s war against Covid-19.
“Under Lifeline UDAN initiative of MoCA, 132 cargo flights have been operated across the country to transport medical cargo to various parts of India including remote and hilly areas,” the Ministry said in a statement.
Air India, Alliance Air, Indian Air Force, Pawan Hans and private carriers such as SpiceJet and IndiGo figure in the list of airlines that carried out these operations.
“With support from Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private airlines, medical supplies of more than 184 tonnes have been delivered till date during lockdown period”, the statement read.
The medical cargo contained essential COVID-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits and PPE(Personal Protective Equipment)such as masks, gloves and other accessories of HLL and cargo requisitioned by State or UT governments and also postal packets.
State-run Air India and Alliance Air have operated a total of 86 flights.Blue Dart, SpiceJet and IndiGo are operating cargo flights on a commercial basis.
The ”Lifeline Udan” flights connected hubs in locations like Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Agartala, Aizwal, Dimapur, Imphal, Coimbatore, Thiruvanthapuram, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Ranchi, Port Blair, and Goa.
On its part, SpiceJet operated 174 cargo flights from March 24-April 5. Out of these 49 were international cargo flights.
Similarly, Blue Dart operated 52 domestic cargo flights from March 24-April 4.
Indigo operated 8 cargo flights on April 3-4, carrying 3.14 tonnes of cargo.
Special focus has been given to the northeast region, island territories and the hill states.
The Ministry, Air India and IAF have worked closely for last-mile deliveries to Ladakh, Dimapur, Imphal, Guwahati, and Port Blair.
As part of India”s war against Covid-19, the Civil Aviation Ministry had launched ”Lifeline Udan” flights on March 26 for transport of medical and essential supplies across the country and beyond.
At present, no foreign or domestic passenger flight operations are allowed in India due to the lockdown in a bid to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.