Lifeline UDAN flights operated under MoCA to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country to support India’s war against COVID-19 with the help of Air India, IAF and Vistara carried a cargo load of 35.78 tons on 22nd April 2020.
Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private carriers in domestic sector have operated 339 flights under Lifeline UDAN out of which 204 flights have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air. Cargo transported till date is around 587.57 tons and aerial distance covered by Lifeline UDAN flights is over 3,37,639km.
Special focus has been on the North East Region, island territories and the hill states. Air India and IAF collaborated primarily for J&K, Ladakh, North-East and other island regions. Helicopter services including Pawan Hans Ltd have been operating in J&K, Ladakh, Islands and North East region transporting critical medical cargo and patients. Pawan Hans till 22 April 2020 have carried 1.90 tons of cargo covering a distance of 6537kms.
The domestic Lifeline UDAN cargo includes COVID-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), masks, gloves, other materials of HLL and ICMR; cargo requisitioned by State/UT Governments and postal packets etc.
SpiceJet, Blue Dart and Indigo are also operating cargo flights on a commercial basis. Spicejet operated 495 cargo flights during 24 March to 22 April covering a distance of 7,46,219 km and carrying 3837 tons of cargo. Out of these, 166 were international cargo flights. Blue Dart has also operated 169 cargo flights covering a distance of 1,68,396 km and carrying 2749 tons of cargo between 25 March to 22 April with 2 international cargo flights.
Indigo has operated 35 cargo flights during 3rd – 22nd April covering a distance of 42,752 km and carrying around 84 tons of cargo and including 6 international flights. This also includes medical supplies carried free of cost for the government.
Air India in total has brought 348 tons of medical cargo from East Asia from 4th April 2020 till date. A cargo air-bridge was established with East Asia for transportation of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and COVID-19 relief material.
Air India will operate dedicated scheduled cargo flights to other countries for transfer of critical medical supplies, as per the requirement.