The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Saturday informed that 588 flights have been operated under Lifeline Udan by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private carriers to transport essential medical supplies amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
"Lifeline Udan has seen 588 flights so far and has carried over 940 tonnes of cargo. The cargo essentially covered COVID-19 related reagents, enzymes, medical equipment, testing kits, PPEs, masks, gloves, medicines and other accessories and cargo requisitioned by state and UT governments," Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.
"Lifeline Udan has received excellent support from state government and other stakeholders," he added.
The minister said that the government is planning to add more flights in Vande Bharat Mission in 3rd and 4th phase.
"The government of India is planning for additional flights under Vande Bharat Mission to evacuate Indians. Under third and fourth phase, 300 flights extra will be run by Air India," Mr Puri said.
"Around 750 odd flights have been offered to Domestic Private Carriers. Around 40-odd flights already scheduled by private operators. Flights which may be operated by foreign carriers for Indians stranded in Latin America and some parts of Africa in collaboration with Air India," he added.
He said that 2,75,000 Indians stranded in foreign countries have been brought back to native country safely so far.
The Minister informed that 1,09,000 Indians were brought back to country under Vande Bharat Mission by national carrier Air India while private airlines and carriers by other countries also brought 1,43,000 Indians.
"Thousands of Indians were brought through land and sea routes. Overall 2,75,000 Indians have been brought safely to country," he said.