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Lifeline Udan flights Covered More Than 3 lakh km for Delivering Essential Medical Cargo

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher

Lifeline Udan flights has covered more than 3 lakh km of aerial distance to transport about 507.85 tons of essential medical cargo. Lifeline Udan by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF & private carriers have operated 301 flights. Out of which, 184 of these flights have been operated by Air India & Alliance Air. It is to be noted that, ‘Lifeline Udan’ flights are operated by MoCA to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country in support of India’s war against COVID-19.

Helicopter services such as Pawan Hans Ltd is operating in J&K, Ladakh, Islands & North East region. It has been transporting critical medical cargo and patients. Pawan Hans till 19 April 2020 have carried around 1.90 tons of cargo covering a distance of 6537 kms. However, the domestic Lifeline Udan cargo includes COVID-19 related reagents, medical equipment, enzymes, Personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits, masks, gloves, other materials of HLL & ICMR, cargo requisitioned by State/UT Governments & postal packets etc.

Special focus has been made on the North East Region, island territories & the hill states. Air India and IAF collaborated primarily for J&K, Ladakh, North-East and other island regions. Bulk of the cargo includes light-weight & voluminous products such as masks, gloves and other consumables, that consume relatively larger storage space on the aircraft. Interestingly, special permission has been taken to store cargo in the passenger seating area & overhead cabins, with due precautions.

National Informatics Centre (NIC) and MoCA have developed a portal for coordinating Lifeline Udan flights. It enables seamless coordination between various stakeholders. Public information related to Lifeline Udan flights is updated daily on the portal at https://esahaj.gov.in/lifeline_udan/public_info.

Adding to it, Domestic Cargo Operators SpiceJet, Blue Dart & Indigo has been operating cargo flights on a commercial basis. Spicejet has also operated 427 cargo flights since 24 March - 19 April 2020 which covered a distance of 6,29,325 km & carried 3414 tons of cargo. From these 135 were international cargo flights. Whereas, Blue Dart have operated 141 domestic cargo flights, covered a distance of 1, 39, 179 km & carryied 2241 tons of cargo from 25 March - 19 April 2020.

Indigo operated 33 cargo flights from 3-19 April 2020, covered a distance of 37,160 km & carried about 66 tons of cargo. It includes medical supplies as well. Also, a cargo air-bridge was established with East Asia for transportation of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment & Covid-19 relief material.

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