NEW DELHI || Under Lifeline UDAAN, 97 flights have been operated by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF, Pawan Hans and private carriers. 71 of these have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air, an official said on Saturday. Cargo transported to date is around 119 tons. Aerial distance covered by Lifeline Udan flights to date is over 1 lakh km.
The cargo includes COVID-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits, Personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, gloves, other materials of HLL and ICMR. cargo requisitioned by State/UT Governments and also postal packets.
Lifeline Udan flights operate in a hub and spoke model. Cargo hubs have been established in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. Lifeline Udan flights connect these hubs to locations like Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Agartala, Aizwal, Dimapur, Imphal, Coimbatore, Trivandrum, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Ranchi, Port Blair, and Goa.
A special focus has been on the North East Region (NER), island territories and the hill states. MoCA, Air India, and IAF have collaborated closely for last-mile deliveries to Ladakh, Dimapur, Imphal, Guwahati, and Port Blair.
The bulk of the cargo comprises low-weight and voluminous packages containing masks, gloves, and other consumables; that require more cargo space per ton of material. Special permission has been taken to store cargo in the passenger seating area and overhead cabins, with due care and precautions.
SpiceJet operated 103 cargo flights during 24-31 March 2020 covering an aerial distance of over 142,000 km and carrying over 800 tons of cargo. Out of these 103 flights, 32 were to international destinations. Blue Dart operated 32 domestic cargo flights covering a distance of 30,800 Kms and carrying over 464 tons of cargo during 25- 31 March 2020. Domestic Cargo Operators SpiceJet and Blue Dart are operating cargo flights on a commercial basis.
On the international front, MoCA and Air India are working with Chinese authorities to establish a cargo air-bridge between India and China for critical medical supplies. The Ministry of Civil Aviation and the aviation industry are determined to support India’s war against COVID-19 by transporting medical air-cargo to India’s remote corners in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.