The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has instituted an ‘Air Cargo Management Group’ to ensure that essential commodities are transported across the country in a timely manner during the 21-day nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19.
“An air cargo management group for COVID-19 has been created with a dedicated team for smooth movement of cargo. Ministry is adopting a hub & spoke approach to move essential commodities across the country. Resident commissioners of states/union territories are part of the group,” the ministry said in a tweet.
“Private airlines/freighters have been co-opted to link the request of States/UTs for smooth movement of essential items. Additionally, ATRs of Alliance Air have been kept on standby at Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad,” the tweet added.
According to MoCA, planes are being chartered at concessional rates for boxes that need a large aircraft, especially to move items of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to states.
“Helicopters are ready in the north-east for intra-region movements. Support is being given to private agencies interested in aiding efforts,” the tweet said.
“Accordingly, essential items especially medicine & ICMR kits were transported from Delhi to Aizawl, Dibrugarh, Kolkata & Hyderabad on 27th March. The second flight of the day transported essential items from Mumbai to Pune, Bengaluru & Trivandrum,” it continued, adding that the third batch of air cargo transported essential items from Delhi to Pune and ICMR kits from Pune to Patna.