Lifeline Udan Delivers Over 500 Tons Medical Cargo Amid Lockdown
Stepping up effors for delivering essential medical cargo to various part of the country, Lifeline Udan flights has covered over 3 lakh km of aerial distance to transport around 507.85 tons of goods including testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other crucial medical equipment amid the lockdown in the wake of contagion.
The COVID-19 curve trajectory which required a fitting containment response, the lockdown continuation is a necessary to avert the possible larger crisis.
Till now 301 flights have been operated under Lifeline Udan by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private carriers while 184 of these flights have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air.
Continuing the relentless drive to support India’s war against COVID-19 pandemic, Lifeline Udan flights are being operated by Civil Aviation Ministry to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country.
According to the release, helicopter services including Pawan Hans have been operating in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Islands and North-East region transporting critical medical cargo and patients.
Pawan Hans till April 19, 2020 have carried 1.90 tons of cargo covering a distance of 6537 kms.
The domestic Lifeline Udan 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 postal packets etc.
Special focus has been on the North-East Region, island territories and the hill states. Air India and IAF collaborated primarily for Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, North-East and other island regions.
Bulk of the cargo comprises light-weight and voluminous products like masks, gloves and other consumables, that consume relatively larger storage space on the aircraft. Special permission has been taken to store cargo in the passenger seating area and overhead cabins, with due precautions.
Aiming at a seamless coordination between various stakeholders for Lifeline Udan flights, a portal has been developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and MoCA to enable smooth operation in the lockdown phase.
Public information related to Lifeline Udan flights is updated daily on the portal at https://esahaj.gov.in/lifeline_udan/public_info.
Domestic Cargo Operators SpiceJet, Blue Dart and Indigo are also operating cargo flights on a commercial basis.
Spicejet operated 427 cargo flights during 24 March to 19 April 2020 covering a distance of 6,29,325 km and carrying 3414 tons of cargo.
Out of these 135 were international cargo flights. Blue Dart operated 141 domestic cargo flights covering a distance of 1, 39, 179 km and carrying 2241 tons of cargo during March 25 to April 19, 2020.
Indigo has operated 33 cargo flights during 3-19 April 2020 covering a distance of 37,160 km and carrying around 66 tons of cargo. This also includes medical supplies carried free of cost for the government.
A cargo air-bridge has been established with East Asia for transportation of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and Covid-19 relief material.
Air India will operate dedicated scheduled cargo flights to other countries for transfer of critical medical supplies, as per the requirement.
As of now, a total of 17,265 confirmed cases are reported for COVID-19 in the country. As many as 2547 persons which is 14.75 per cent of total cases have been cured/discharged after recovery. A total of 543 deaths have been reported so far due to COVID-19.