Hardeep Singh Puri asks airlines not to restart booking till government decides
Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Civil Aviation announced that the Aviation Ministry has taken no decision to open up domestic or international operations.”The Ministry of Civil Aviation clarifies that so far no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations,” Puri said. “Airlines are advised to open their bookings only after a decision in this regard has been taken by the Government.”
Over 407 tonnes of medical supplies flown across India under Lifeline Udan
India’s aviation sector has been operating on war footing transporting critical medical equipment and supplies to various parts of the country during the lockdown. According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, under the ‘Lifeline Udan’ initiative, over 407 tonnes of medical air-cargo has been transported within the country using 227 flights till 13 April. An MocA Press Release stated “227 flights have been operated under Lifeline Udan by Air India, Alliance Air, Indian Air Force (IAF) and private carriers. 138 of these flights have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air. Cargo transported to date is around 407.40 tons.”The release added that a total of 2,20,129 kilometers distance has been covered by the flights under the initiative so far.”Helicopter services including Pawan Hans Ltd have been operating in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, islands and North East region transporting critical medical cargo and patients.”
SpiceJet operates its first China freighter flight
SpiceJet has operated its first-ever B737 freighter flight to China carrying Covid-19 related essential medical supplies from Shanghai to Hyderabad. The airline said the flight, which took place on April 15, was part of efforts to mitigate the shortage and supply disruption of essential supplies and medical equipment. SpiceJet has transported more than 2,700 tons of cargo on more than 300 flights since India’s nationwide lockdown began. Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet, said “, SpiceJet freighters have begun ferrying crucial medical supplies from China. In addition to Shanghai, we are also operating freighters to Singapore and Sri Lanka”.
Vistara considers operating Cargo flights
With passenger flights being suspended till 3rd May, full service carrier Vistara is considering diversifying its revenue stream by utilising aircraft to haul cargo, a senior company official said.
Accordingly, the airline which has 42 aircraft is considering various opportunities and it might soon commence cargo flights after “securing business at viable levels”.
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