The Centre on Friday said that under the Lifeline Udan initiative, over 180 flights have transported around 258.24 tonnes of medical supplies across the country till April 9.
The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation said that these flights are being operated to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country to support India’s war against COVID-19. Accordingly, these flights are being operated by Air India, Alliance Air, Indian Air Force, and other private carriers.
“Over 180 flights have been operated under Lifeline UDAN during COVID-19 lockdown out of which 114 flights were operated by Air India and Alliance Air. 58 Flights were operated by IAF,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Pawan Hans Ltd operated 5 cargo flights up to 8th April 2020 carrying 1.07 tons of critical medical supplies to Guwahati, Agartala, Kishwar, Navapachi, Srinagar, Jammu, Nagpur, Aurangabad, covering a distance of 3,561 kilometers.”
State-run Air India has collaborated closely with the IAF primarily for J&K, Ladakh, North-East and other island regions. “The cargo essentially covered COVID-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits, and PPE, masks, gloves and other accessories of HLL and cargo requisitioned by State or UT Governments and also postal packets,” the statement said.
Besides Air India, Blue Dart, SpiceJet, and IndiGo are also operating cargo flights on a commercial basis. The Lifeline Udan flights connect hubs in locations such as Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Agartala, Aizwal, Dimapur, Imphal, Coimbatore, Thiruvanthapuram, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Ranchi, Port Blair, and Goa.
A special focus has been given to the northeast region, island territories and the hill states. As part of India’s war against COVID-19, the Civil Aviation Ministry had launched Lifeline Udan flights on March 26 for movement of medical and essential supplies across the country and beyond. At present, no foreign or domestic passenger flight operations are allowed in the country. (IANS)