Sichuan Airline retracts plans to suspend cargo flight to India

Chinese state-run Sichuan Airlines has retracted its announcement to suspend cargo flights taking crucial supplies like oxygen concentrators to India.

The airline’s logistics arm said that it was discussing a new plan to resume cargo services to India, as the country has been going through a COVID-19 resurgence, state-run Global Times reported.

The move comes after Indian media reported that Sichuan Airlines had suspended all its cargo flights to India for 15 days, and said that such a move brings ‘major disruption’ to private traders’ efforts to buy medical supplies, including oxygen concentrators, from China, the daily’s said.

“We are re-evaluating the original plan of suspending cargo services to India, and actively discussing a new plan to guarantee cargo services to the region,” the report quoted the airlines as saying in reply to its queries.

In a letter to the sales agents on Monday, the Sichuan Chuanhang Logistics Co. Ltd, the company which is part of the Sichuan Airlines, said the airline has suspended its cargo flights on six routes, including Xian to Delhi, amid hectic efforts by private traders from both sides to procure oxygen concentrators from China.

As per the letter seen by PTI, the company said, ‘in the face of sudden changes in the epidemic situation (in India), in order to reduce the number of imported cases, it is decided to suspend the flights for the next 15 days.’

The airlines operates about 11 cargo flights to different destinations in India.

On a usual, Sichuan Airlines has two regular flights from the Chinese mainland to India, but neither flight had taken off on Monday, the Global Times report said.

Further, the report stated that from April 1 to April 25, the number of cargo flights from the Chinese mainland to India averaged five per day, including carried by Sichuan Airlines and SF Airlines.

It quoted sources as saying that so far, the cargo service of SF Airlines is normal.

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