06 April 2020
New Delhi: The Centre on Monday said that under the "Lifeline Udan" initiative, 132 flights have transported over 184 tonnes of medical supplies across the country.
According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, these flights were operated to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country to support India's war against Covid-19.
These flights were operated by Air India, Alliance Air, Indian Air Force, Pawan Hans and private carriers such as SpiceJet and IndiGo.
"Under Lifeline UDAN initiative of MoCA, 132 cargo flights have been operated across the country to transport medical cargo to various parts of India including remote and hilly areas," the ministry said in a statement.
"With support from Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private airlines, medical supplies of more than 184 tonnes have been delivered till date during lockdown period."
Accordingly, the cargo essentially included COVID-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits and PPEs such as masks, gloves and other accessories of HLL and cargo requisitioned by State or UT governments and also postal packets.
State-run Air India and Alliance Air have operated a total of 86 flights. Besides, Blue Dart, SpiceJet and IndiGo are operating cargo flights on a commercial basis.
On its part, SpiceJet operated 174 cargo flights from March 24-April 5. Out of these 49 were international cargo flights.
Similarly, Blue Dart operated 52 domestic cargo flights from March 24-April 4.
Budget airline Indigo operated 8 cargo flights on April 3-4, carrying 3.14 tonnes of cargo.
The 'Lifeline Udan' flights connected hubs in locations like Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Agartala, Aizwal, Dimapur, Imphal, Coimbatore, Thiruvanthapuram, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Ranchi, Port Blair, and Goa.
Special focus has been given to the northeast region, island territories and the hill states.
The ministry, Air India and IAF have collaborated closely for last-mile deliveries to Ladakh, Dimapur, Imphal, Guwahati, and Port Blair.
As part of India's war against Covid-19, the Civil Aviation Ministry had launched 'Lifeline Udan' flights on March 26 for transport of medical and essential supplies across the country and beyond.
At present, no foreign or domestic passenger flight operations are allowed in India due to lockdown in the wake of coronavirus scare.