Under ‘Lifeline UDAN’ initiative of Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), 152 cargo flights have been operated so far across the country including to remote and hilly areas, covering a distance of 1,32,029 kilometres and carrying almost 200.20 tonnes of medical supplies.
“With support from Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private airlines, medical supplies of more than 200 tonnes have been delivered till date during lockdown period,” a MoCA release said.
Air India and IAF collaborated for Ladakh, Kargil, Dimapur, Imphal, Guwahati,Chennai, Ahmedabad, Patna, Jorhat, Lengpui, Mysuru, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Jammu, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Port Blair.
State-run Air India and Air Alliance operated the largest number of flights under Lifeline UDAN — 93 — followed by the IAF at 51. Private airline IndiGo operated six flights while SpiceJet commissioned two. The total stands at 152.
On the International platform, Air India has been operating dedicated scheduled cargo flights to China for uplifting critical medical equipment as per requirement. An air bridge between Shanghai and Delhi has been established, the ministry said. “First cargo flight of Air India operated on April 4 and has brought 21 tonnes of medical equipment,” the release added.
Domestic cargo operators Blue Dart, SpiceJet and Indigo are also operating cargo flights on commercial basis.
On its part, SpiceJet operated 189 cargo flights from March 24-April 6 covering a distance of 2,58,210 Kms with carrying 1530.13 tonnes of cargo. Out of these 53 were international cargo flights.
Similarly, Blue Dart operated 58 domestic cargo flights from March 24-April 6 covering a distance of 5,51,14 Kms and carrying 862.2 tonnes of cargo.
Budget airline Indigo operated 8 cargo flights on April 3-4, carrying 3.14 tonnes of cargo covering a distance of 6,103 Kms.
As part of India’s war against COVID-19, MoCA had launched ‘Lifeline UDAN’ flights on March 26 for transport of medical and essential supplies across the country and beyond.