COVID-19: Aviation Industry Continues Delivery of Medical Essentials

COVID - aviatiorsbuzz

Delivery of vaccines, diagnostic equipment, oxygen and other supplies to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic by the aviation industry continues unabated as India fights the second wave.

On Friday, the Airports Authority of India said that Goa International Airport and its frontline corona warriors have been playing an active role to combat COVID-19 by facilitating the seamless delivery of medical essentials.

Goa Airport had earlier catered to 8 LifeLine Udan flights intended to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country amid the Nationwide lockdown to support India’s fight against Covid-19 with a total in-bound cargo of 2.15MT and Outbound cargo 3.96 MT.

The airport also handled 3 lots of COVID vaccine for the state of Goa and 1 lot for the neighbouring state Karnataka in the months of January and February 2021.

The race is not stopped and Goa International Airport has further strengthened its mission to tackle the unprecedented situation created by COVID-19 by seamless supply of medical essentials i.e., COVID vaccines, Fabiflu medicines, COVID-19 testing kits and other essentials.

Focus on COVID

Goa Airport has facilitated the movement of COVID Vaccine to the state of Goa in the second phase of pandemic as part of in-bound cargo and ensured the expeditious exit of consignments and handing over to the health authorities in shortest time possible.

  • 13 Boxes of COVID vaccine (COVISHIELD) received from Chennai on 18.04.2021
  • 9 Boxes of COVID vaccine (COVISHIELD) received from Mumbai on 30.04.2021.
  • 122 Kg of COVID-19 Testing kits received from Delhi on 23.04.2021.

In addition to inbound Cargo, Goa Airport has also played a crucial role in facilitating the supply of Glenmark’s Fabiflu medicines as part of Outbound Cargo to different parts of the country i.e., Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Indore, Nagpur etc.

A total of 31,955 Kg of Fabiflu medicines flew from Goa Airport as part of outbound Cargo in the month of April, 2021.

Fabiflu is used for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID infected people. Goa despite being smallest state is playing a significant role by being at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 and Goa International Airport is working as gateway on 24×7 basis.

Further, Goa Airport said it was making efforts to organise COVID vaccination camp for the employees of AAI and their dependent family members, airlines, agencies and other frontline staff working at the airport in collaboration and support from government of Goa.

Cathay Pacific Cargo too announced that in the face of a grave medical crisis, it is flying vital relief shipments to India and it stands ready to do more.

Although passenger flights have been suspended between Hong Kong and India, in the past few weeks Cathay Pacific Cargo has been operating freighters and cargo-only passenger flights, delivering to date more than 100 tonnes of much-needed humanitarian and medical supplies to some of India’s major centres.

These include shipments of specialised oxygen generators, oxygen concentrators and ventilators to Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. In addition, there has been a sharp increase in volumes for shipments of oxygen, surgical masks, sanitiser, personal protective equipment, pharmaceuticals and vaccines over the past few weeks.

“The Cathay Pacific Group has a long standing relationship with India. We are pained to see the current impact of the pandemic in the country and understand the criticality of shipping essential medical supplies,” Cathay Pacific Airways’ Regional General Manager – South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Mark Sutch said.

Mr. Sutch informed that with an expansive global network, freighter operations as well as our ability to deploy ad-hoc Cargo-only-Passenger flights, Cathay had been able to transport essential medical equipment to the Indian communities.

“Recently, we have also seen a sharp increase in demand from Americas and the Chinese mainland for space for humanitarian aid shipments to India and we are working closely with the Indian authorities to deploy additional capacity to accommodate these essential shipments,” he said.

Cathay Supporting Relief

With its dedicated Boeing 747 freighter fleet, Cathay Pacific Cargo stands ready to support relief efforts with its capacity to deliver large humanitarian cargo shipments where they are needed and whenever they are required.

India also received 2900 oxygen concentrators from Hong Kong to New Delhi through  SpiceXpress, the air cargo arm of SpiceJet. The airline used its A340 wide-body aircraft to airlift the concentrators from Hong Kong which arrived in Delhi early on Friday morning.

The airline has airlifted more than 13,950 oxygen concentrators from the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and China so far. These oxygen concentrators have been ordered by SpiceHealth and other organisations.

SpiceHealth, a healthcare company launched by the promoters of SpiceJet, has been working actively with state governments and hospitals across the country to address the issue of acute shortage of oxygen.

SpiceJet COVID - aviatorsbuzz
File picture of the first boxes of the COVID vaccine being loaded on to a SpiceJet aircraft in Pune. Source: SpiceJet

With a network spanning 63 domestic and 50 international destinations and a fleet of 19 cargo planes, SpiceXpress is capable of flying over 600 tonnes of cargo daily to domestic and international destinations.

SpiceJet has transported more than 1.6 lakh tonnes of cargo since March 25, 2020. The airline has transported a record 88,802 kg of COVID vaccine shipment with a total dosage of 34 million COVID vaccines between January 12 and April 12, 2021.


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