New Delhi: ‘Lifeline Udan’ flights are being operated by MoCA to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country to support India’s war against COVID-19. 316 flights have been operated under Lifeline Udan by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private carriers during Covid-19 lockdown. 196 of these flights have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air. Cargo transported till date is around 541.33 tons. Aerial distance covered by Lifeline Udan flights till date is over 3,14,965 km.
Helicopter services including Pawan Hans Ltd have been operating in J&K, Ladakh, Islands and North East region transporting critical medical cargo and patients. Pawan Hans till 20 April 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.
Domestic Lifeline Udan flights operate in a hub and spoke model. Special focus has been on the North East Region, island territories and the hill states. Air India and IAF collaborated primarily for J&K, 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.
Public information related to Lifeline Udan flights is updated daily on the portal at https://esahaj.gov.in/lifeline_udan/public_info.
Lifeline Udan flights have received excellent support from State Governments, DGCA, AAI, AAICLAS, AIASL, PPP airports, private carriers and ground handling agencies.
Domestic Cargo Operators SpiceJet, Blue Dart and Indigo are operating cargo flights on a commercial basis. Spicejet operated 447 cargo flights during 24 March to 20 April 2020 covering a distance of 6,64,675 km and carrying 3516 tons of cargo. Out of these 143 were international cargo flights.Blue Dart operated 152 domestic cargo flights covering a distance of 1,49,333 km and carrying 2407 tons of cargo during 25 March to 20 April 2020. Indigo has operated 33 cargo flights during 3-20 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.