Covid-19: 274 flights operated under ‘Lifeline Udan’ to transport medical supplies
An air-bridge has also been established for transportation of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and Covid-19 relief material from Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong
In India’s determined fight against Covid-19, railways, trucks and ships are not alone to use their labyrinthine presence to transport medicines, equipment and goods across the length and breadth of the country, airlines--both private and public-owned, have also played an important role in flying off essential goods to the country’s remote corners.
As per a release from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, since the third week of March, a total of 463.15 tons of cargo have been transported by undertaking 274 flights under ‘Lifeline Udan’ in the country by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private carriers.
Of these flights, 175 have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air. While Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Guwahati are operational hub of these private and public carriers in metros, they are undertaking flights under ‘Lifeline Udan’ to as many as 27 big and small cities, including Dibrugarh, Agartala, Aizwal, Dimapur, Imphal, Jorhat and Lengpui.
From April 4, an air-bridge has been established for transportation of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and Covid-19 relief material from Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong also.
Helicopter services, including Pawan Hans have been also pressed into action in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and North-East for transporting critical medical cargo and patients.
As per the Ministry of Civil Aviation, domestic carriers SpiceJet, BlueDart and Indigo are operating cargo flights on a commercial basis. Spicejet operated 393 cargo flights during 24 March to 17 April 2020 covering a distance of 5,64,691 km and carrying 3183 tons of cargo.
Out of these 126 were international cargo flights. Blue Dart operated 134 domestic cargo flights covering a distance of 1,32,295 km and carrying 2122 tons of cargo during 25 March to 17 April 2020.
Indigo has operated 29 cargo flights during 3-17 April 2020 covering a distance of 26,698 km and carrying around 31tons of cargo. This also includes medical supplies carried free of cost.