New Delhi: Under Lifeline UDAN, 116 flights have been operated by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF, Pawan Hans and private carriers. 79 of these flights have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air. Cargo transported till date is around 161 tons. Aerial distance covered by Lifeline Udan flights till date is over 112,178 km. On the international front, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air India have worked closely with China to establish a cargo air-bridge between the two countries for transfer of critical medical supplies. The first cargo flight between India and China was operated by Air India on 4 April 2020, carrying 21 tons of critical medical supplies from China.
‘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.
The date-wise breakup of the Lifeline Udan flights is as follows:
|S No||Date||Air India||Alliance||IAF||Indigo||SpiceJet||Total|
Special focus has been on the North East Region (NER), island territories and the hill states. MoCA, Air India and IAF have collaborated closely for last mile deliveries to Ladakh, Dimapur, Imphal, Guwahati and Port Blair.
Bulk of the cargo comprises light-weight and voluminous products like masks, gloves and other consumables, that require more space on the aircraft per ton. Special permission has been taken to store cargo in the passenger seating area and overhead cabins, with due precautions. The Lifeline Udan flights are being operated despite significant logistical challenges in road transportation of cargo to and from airports; production bottlenecks and in the movement of aviation personnel.
Public information related to Lifeline Udan flights is uploaded daily on the Lifeline Udan website. A portal for coordinating Lifeline Udan flights was developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and MoCA. A link to the Lifeline Udan portal is available on MoCA’s website www.civilaviation.gov.in).
Domestic Cargo Operators SpiceJet, Blue Dart and Indigo are operating cargo flights on a commercial basis. Spicejet operated 166 cargo flights from 24 March to 4 April 2020 covering a distance of 2,23,241 km and carrying 1,327 tons of cargo. Out of these, 46 were international cargo flights. Blue Dart operated 52 domestic cargo flights, covering a distance of 50,086 km and carrying 761 tons of cargo between 25 March and 4 April 2020. Indigo has operated 8 cargo flights during 3-4 April 2020 covering a distance of 6,103 km and carrying around 3 tons of cargo. This includes medical supplies carried free of cost for the government.