The government has been operating ‘Lifeline Udan’ flights to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country.
There are 274 flights being operated under the ‘Lifeline Udan’ programme by Ministry of Civil Aviation. Air India, Alliance Air and private carriers are the players in the government’s programme.
According to a statement released by the government, these flights have transported around 463.15 tons of supplies covering an aerial distance of over 2,73,275 km till date.
Apart from these airlines, Helicopter service including Pawan Hans Ltd has been operating in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Islands and North East region transporting critical medical cargo and patients.
The Lifeline Udan model operates in ‘hub and spoke model’. Cargo hubs have been established at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Guwahati. Lifeline Udan flights connect these hubs to airports(Spokes) at Dibrugarh, Agartala, Aizwal, Dimapur, Imphal, Jorhat, Lengpui, Mysuru, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Trivandrum, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Ranchi, Srinagar, Port Blair, Patna, Cochin, Vijayawada, Ahmedabad, Jammu, Kargil, Ladakh, Chandigarh, Goa, Bhopal and Pune.
Domestic Cargo Operators like SpiceJet, Blue Dart and IndiGo are also operating cargo flights on a commercial basis.
Apart from the domestic cargo flights, the government has also established an air bridge with effect from April 4, 2020, for transportation of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and Covid-19 relief material.
Air India has also operated its second flight under ‘Krishi Udan’ program from Mumbai to Frankfurt on April 15, carrying 27 tons of seasonal fruits and vegetables to Frankfurt and returned with 10 tons of general cargo, Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement.
The flight under Krishi Udan program was between Mumbai and London on April 13 carrying 28.95 tons of fruits and vegetables to London and returned with15.6 Tons of general cargo material.