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New Delhi, May 11, 2020
As many as 490 flights have been operated under Lifeline Udan by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private carriers to ensure the supply of essentials and medical supplies in all parts of the country during the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Around 289 of these flights have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air. Cargo transported on May 8 was 6.32-tonne taking the total amount of cargo transported so far to around 848.42 tonnes, an official press release said.
Alliance Air operated two fights while eight flights were operated by IAF. Aerial distance covered by Lifeline Udan flights till date is over 4,73,609 km. ‘Lifeline Udan’ flights are being operated by MoCA to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country to support India’s war against COVID-19.
Helicopter services including Pawan Hans Ltd., have been operating in J&K, Ladakh, Islands and North East region transporting critical medical cargo and patients. Pawan Hans has carried 2.32-tonne cargo covering a distance of 8,001 km.
Domestic cargo operators SpiceJet, Blue Dart, Indigo and Vistara are operating cargo flights on a commercial basis. Spicejet operated 916 cargo flights from March 24 to May 8 covering a distance of 15,46,809 km and carrying 6,587 tonnes of cargo.
Out of these, 337 were international cargo flights. Blue Dart operated 311 cargo flights covering a distance of 3,55,515 km and carrying 5,231 tonne of cargo. Out of these, 16 were international cargo flights. Indigo has operated 121 cargo flights from April 3 to May 8 covering a distance of 1,96,263 km and carrying around 585 tonnes of cargo, including 46 international flights.
This also includes medical supplies carried free of cost for the government. Vistara has operated 23 cargo flights from April 19 to May 8 covering a distance of 32,321 km and carrying around 150 tonnes of cargo.
A cargo air-bridge was established with East Asia for transportation of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and COVID-19 relief material. The total quantity of medical cargo brought in by Air India is 1075 tonnes. Blue Dart has uplifted medical supplies of around 131 tonnes from Guangzhou and Shanghai and 24 tonnes from Hong Kong, starting April 14 to May 8.
Spicejet has also lifted 205 tonnes of medical supplies from Shanghai and Guangzhou and 21 tonnes of medical supplies from Hong Kong and Singapore up to May 8, the release added.