Air India is likely to transport critical medical equipment and supplies from China starting April 3.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Tuesday said that Air India has established a cargo air-bridge between India and China.

“Regular cargo flights for transporting critical medical equipment and supplies between the two countries are likely to be operated by Air India from 3 April 2020 onwards,” it said.

The ministry also said that 62 Lifeline Udan flights have operated during the March 26-30, transporting over 15.4 tons of essential medical supplies. Out of the 62 flights, 45 have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air.

As part of fight against COVID-19, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, launched “Lifeline Udan” flights for movement of medical and essential supplies across the country and beyond.

The Lifeline Udan cargo includes COVID-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, gloves and other accessories required by healthcare workers across the country involved in the treatment of coronavirus-infected patients.

The carriers involved in Lifeline Udan operations include Air India, Alliance Air, Indian Air Force (IAF) and Pawan Hans. Private carriers like IndiGo, Spicejet and Blue Dart are operating medical cargo flights on a commercial basis, it said.

The Lifeline Udan flights are planned using a hub and spoke model. Cargo hubs have been established at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata.