New Delhi, April 7 | Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday that 152 flights have transported 200 tonnes of medical supplies to different parts of the country under the Centre’s ‘Lifeline Udan’ initiative between March 26 and April 6.
In a tweet, the minister said: “200 tonnes of critical supplies across 1,32,000 km… Mission Lifeline Udan is in full swing. No Indian will be left behind. Together, we shall overcome.”
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 and private carriers such as SpiceJet and IndiGo.
“Under the Lifeline UDAN initiative of MoCA, 152 cargo flights have been operated till date across the country to transport medical cargo to various parts of India, including remote and hilly areas,” the Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement.
“With support from Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private airlines, medical supplies of more than 200 tonnes have been delivered till date during lockdown period,” it added.
The cargo included Covid-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits and PPE such as masks, gloves and other accessories.
The ‘Lifeline Udan’ flights connected hubs in locations such as Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Agartala, Aizwal, Dimapur, Imphal, Coimbatore, Thiruvanthapuram, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Ranchi, Port Blair and Goa.
Special focus has been given to the northeastern region, island territories and the hill states.
The ministry said that Air India and IAF have collaborated closely for last-mile deliveries to Ladakh, Kargil, Dimapur, Imphal, Guwahati, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Patna, Jorhat, Lengpui, Mysuru, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Jammu, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Port Blair.
State-run Air India and Alliance Air have operated a total of 93 flights.
Besides, Blue Dart, SpiceJet and IndiGo are also operating cargo flights on a commercial basis. On its part, SpiceJet operated 189 cargo flights from March 24 to April 6. Out of these, 53 were international cargo flights.
Similarly, Blue Dart operated 58 domestic cargo flights from March 24 to April 6.
Budget airline IndiGo operated 8 cargo flights on April 3-4, carrying 3.14 tonnes of cargo.
As part of India’s war against Covid-19, the Civil Aviation Ministry had launched the ‘Lifeline Udan’ flights on March 26 for transportation 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 the lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.