Air carrier SpiceJet operated India's first cargo-on-seat flight, to carry vital supplies from Delhi to Chennai, according to the company on Tuesday.
According to the airline company, it deployed a Boeing 737 NG aircraft after taking approvals from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) which carried 11 tons of vital supplies in passenger cabin and belly space from Delhi to Chennai. The aircraft will do five rotations today ensuring that vital supplies are delivered in the shortest possible time. Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, Ajay Singh said, "Since the lockdown began, we have carried more than 1,400 tons of cargo operating around 200 domestic and international cargo flights. Today, for the first time in the country, we used a passenger aircraft to transport cargo where in addition to the belly space the passenger cabin was used to safely carry essential supplies."
Singh added that the airliner was honoured to be a part of the Centre's 'Lifeline Udan' initiative and said that five of its freighters are being put to maximum use to transport cold chain medical supplies, medicines, medical devices for various state governments, medical and pharma companies.
Speaking about the route taken by the cargo-on-seat flight, he added that the aircraft flew from Delhi to Chennai and then from Chennai it operated to Surat and from Surat it operated back to Chennai. The aircraft will further ply between Chennai to Mumbai and then to Delhi later today with cargo on-board.
Lifeline Udan is a government initiative for air transport of medical cargo and essential supplies across India at the time of the Covid-19 crisis. 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. (ANI)