NEW DELHI: The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport has handled a record number of flights ferrying COVID-19 relief materials from across the globe, which were distributed across the states in India, in a month.
Around 1,750 metric tonnes (MT) of relief material such as oxygen generating plants, oxygen generators, oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, masks, ventilators, Remdesivir injections, hospital beds and other medicines Veklury and Tocilizumab arrived at the Delhi airport from more than 36 countries, including Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Russia, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Australia, Singapore, Mauritius, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Doha, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Taiwan, Kuwait and UAE.
The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), the GMR-led consortium operating the facility, set up a dedicated logistic facility – Jeevoday warehouse – for interim storage and effective distribution of the consignments.
According to DIAL officials, the airport handled 100 flights carrying COVID relief materials in 29 days during this second ware of pandemic. “Delhi Airport, India’s largest hub airport for handling and distribution of COVID related aid, recorded the highest movements of Covid relief aid among all Indian airports, at a time when India needed medical equipment, etc,” said an official.
It is the largest cargo hub airport of the South Asia region, with two integrated cargo terminals having an annual cargo handling capacity of 1.8 million MT that is scalable to 2.3 million MT. “Last year, during the two-month-long lockdown, the cargo facility was operational, successfully handling distribution of relief materials by participating in government’s initiatives of ‘Lifeline Udaan’ and ‘Krishi Udaan’. During this period, the airport handled some of the largest military and commercial aircraft, including Antonov-124, C-130 Globemasters, C 5, C 17, and IL 76 among other freighters,” said a spokesperson of DIAL.