Indian Airlines, including Air India, GoAir, SpiceJet, and IndiGo will operate 9 flights for vaccine transportation from Pune on January 12, to different parts of the country.
The airlines will operate 9 flights from Pune with 56.5 lakh doses to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow & Chandigarh.
According to the source, the flights also include two cargo flights. The first cargo flight will cover Hyderabad, Vijayawada, and Bhubaneswar and the second cargo flight will go to Kolkata and Guwahati.
The shipment to Mumbai will be delivered by road from Serum Institute by Kool-ex and Cold Chain trucks.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri confirmed that the first two flights operated by SpiceJet & GoAir from Pune to Delhi & Chennai have taken off.
He said that “Today, Air India, SpiceJet and IndiGo Airlines will operate nine flights from Pune with 56.5 lakh doses to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Chandigarh. The first consignment has already left for Delhi in the early morning.“
SpiceJet flight took off from the Pune airport at 8 am, to Delhi, with India’s first consignment of the vaccines.
Air India took a consignment to Ahmedabad, at 9.40 am, carrying a load of 700 kg, as per a senior executive from the industry.
Pune airport tweeted: “Ready get set go! Stand by India! The vaccine to kill the disease is being loaded into the aircraft for distribution all over the country now.”
The Pune airport is controlled and owned by the Indian Air Force, and is undergoing runway resurfacing. It is closed from 8 pm to 8 am, limiting its ability to transport vaccines.
- With the Mumbai airport, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad will also play a critical role, Bharat Biotech is near the southern metro, which is manufacturing Covaxin.
- Also, Dr. Reddy’s Lab, which is manufacturing Russia’s Sputnik vaccine, is also based in Hyderabad.
Covishield and Covaxin have got the nod from the government for emergency use.
The central government placed firm orders for more than six Crore doses of vaccines from the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech on Monday in the first phase of the nationwide vaccination campaign from January 16.