Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) announced it has handled 1,850 cargo freighter aircrafts in the month of June 2020, which is the highest in the country and highest-ever recorded at the airport. This comprises of 1,091 scheduled and 759 non-scheduled freighter movements.
According to the airport, it has also recorded the highest volume of cargo in the first quarter of the financial year 2021, between April and June.
The airport handled more than 20 million pieces of essential medical supplies — 10.3 million facemasks, 6.2 million gloves, 4.9 million goggles, 1.9 million bodysuits, 1.4 million shoe covers and 250 ventilators — the largest volume handled by any airport in India.
These imported medical kits were distributed across major cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Cochin, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, etc. and in the far-flung Northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, and Sikkim.
Dedicated cargo teams kept operating 24×7 at the terminals of Delhi Airport, while following the norms of social distancing, sanitisation and safety. Within a record time of seven days, they were able to set up a 3800 sq m facility to handle COVID-19 related medical essentials. The import medical cargoes were stored in separate export zones to be further transported across the country.
Soon after the lockdown was imposed, the country’s Civil Aviation Ministry designated Delhi Airport as one of the major hubs for import and distribution of essential medical supplies for fight against Covid-19.
Integrators– FedEx, Emirates, UPS, and other major airlines– Air India, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Turkish Airlines, etc. contributed significantly in this process by ferrying international cargo to and from Delhi across destinations like USA, Germany, UAE, United Kingdom, Afghanistan, France, Japan, Hong Kong, etc.
While in the domestic sector, Spicejet, Blue Dart, Indigo, Air India Express and government’s ‘Lifeline Udaan’ flights comprising Indian Air Force have contributed significantly by increasing their freight movements during COVID-19 led lockdown to ensure adequate cargo movement for essential medical supplies.
In addition, Delhi Airport also acted as a hub in supporting Government of India’s ‘Krishi Udan’ programme.
The first consignment of fresh vegetables from Varanasi was carried by British Airways from Delhi to London on April 23, 2020.
On June 04, 2020, three metric tonnes of mangoes from orchards around Lucknow was transported to Dubai by Air India Express flight.