Medical cargo flights under Operation Lifeline UDAN transport 108 tons of essential supplies for the nation in a single day

New Delhi: Over 214 Lifeline Udan flights have been operated by MoCA to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country to support India’s war against COVID-19. 128 of these flights have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air. Cargo transported till date is around 373.23 tons. Smt. Usha Padhee, JS, MoCA said that the aerial distance covered by Lifeline Udan flights till date is over 1,99,784 km. The Cargo load carried on 11th April 2020 was 108 Tons. The Ministry of Civil Aviation and the aviation industry is determined to support India’s war against COVID-19 by transporting medical air-cargo within India and abroad in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

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 that was developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and MoCA in a record span of three days to enable seamless coordination between various stakeholders.

Domestic Cargo Operators Spice Jet, Blue Dart and Indigo are operating cargo flights on a commercial basis. Spice jet operated 286 cargo flights covering a distance of 4,01,290 km and carrying 2334.51 tons of cargo. Out of these 87 were international cargo flights. Blue Dart operated 94 domestic cargo flights covering a distance of 92,075 km and carrying 1479 tons of cargo .Indigo has operated 25 cargo flights covering a distance of 21,906 km and carrying around 21.77 tons of cargo. This also includes medical supplies carried free of cost for the government.

Domestic cargo by Spicejet

Date No. of Flights Tonnage Kilometres
11-04-2020 9 40.36 7271


International cargo by Spicejet

Date No. of Flights Tonnage Kilometres
11-04-2020 11 103.35 21,100


Blue Dart cargo uplift

Date No. of Flights Tonnage Kilometres
11-04-2020 8 145.000 7856.00


Indigo cargo uplift


Date No. of Flights Tonnage Kilometres
11-04-2020 6 15.66 4829

(Note – Indigo’s Tonnage also includes Govt. cargo consisting of medical supplies carried on Free of Cost (FOC) basis.)

International Sector


An air-bridge has been established with effect from 4 April 2020 for transportation of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and Covid-19 relief material. The date-wise quantity of medical cargo brought in as follows:

S No Date From Quantity (Tons)
1 04.4.2020 Shanghai 21
2 07.4.2020 Hong Kong 6
3 09.4.2020 Shanghai 22
4 10.4.2020 Shanghai 18
5 11.4.2020 Shanghai 18
Total 85.

Within South Asia, Air India transported around 9 tons of supplies on 7 April 2020 and 4 tonnes on 8 April 2020 to Colombo. Air India will operate dedicated scheduled cargo flights to other countries for transfer of critical medical supplies, as per the requirement.

A number of regulatory initiatives have been announced, which inter alia include (i) permission to utilize the passenger cabin of aircraft for carriage of cargo subject to safety requirements; (ii) waiver of demurrage upto 50% on import cargo at airports; and (iii) extension of validity of certificates of dangerous goods (e.g. chemicals used for medicines).