The Narendra Modi government is not leaving any stone unturned in its fight against Covid-19. It has now taken to the skies to defeat the pandemic. As part of India’s war against the coronavirus outbreak, under the Aviation Ministry’s “Lifeline Udan” initiative, 339 flights have transported 587.57 tonnes of medical supplies across the country till April 22. “Three hundred and thirtynine flights have been operated under Lifeline Udan till date by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private carriers in the domestic sector supporting the fight against COVID-19.
Two hundred and four of these flights have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air,” the Aviation Ministry said in a statement. Special focus of these flights has been on the Northeast, island territories and the hill states. Air India and the IAF collaborated primarily for Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Northeast and other island regions. The cargo stuff includes Covid-related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, gloves, other materials of Hindustan Latex Limited (HLL) and ICMR. The Lifeline Udan flights connect cities such as Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Agartala, Aizwal, Dimapur, Imphal, Coimbatore, Thiruvanthapuram, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Ranchi, Port Blair and Goa. SpiceJet, Blue Dart and Indigo are operating cargo flights on a commercial basis.
SpiceJet operated 495 cargo flights during 24 March to 22 April 2020, carrying 3,837 tonnes of cargo; Blue Dart operated 169 cargo flights carrying 2,749 tonnes of cargo during 25 March to 22 April 2020. Indigo has operated 35 cargo flights during 3-22 April 2020, carrying around 84 tonnes of cargo. This also includes medical supplies carried free of cost for the government. The total quantity of medical cargo brought in by Air India from East Asia from 4 April 2020 till date is 348 tonnes. Air India will operate dedicated scheduled cargo flights to other countries for transfer of critical medical supplies, as per the requirement.