The country is going through a difficult time, as the Second wave of COVID-19 severely hits India. The drastically rising numbers of COVID-19 patients and the death toll is overwhelming. In this fight against the coronavirus, the essential resources are almost on the verge of being exhausted. The Indian Army and Airforce have stepped up to help transport oxygen and other medical aids across the country.
While everyone is trying to pull every string to make things better, private airlines have also started helping the nation. On 26th April, Vistara, owned by the TATA group & Singapore airline, has come up with a new initiative; they are offering free flights for doctors and nurses representing government organizations.
We’re here to help. If you belong to any government organisation that needs air logistic assistance to fight the pandemic, please send in a request to email@example.com. #ThisIsTata pic.twitter.com/sEkBHA9HKk
— Tata Group (@TataCompanies) April 26, 2021
In a letter to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), the airline said,
“We are also happy to fly doctors and nurses representing government organisations, free of cost, across our domestic network, and also fly them back on the conclusion of their service. The personnel who avail of this service will have to mandatorily follow all the travel related SOPs and present relevant identification and documentation,” (Source – MoneyControl)
The frontline staff will be able to fly to and from via Vistara within the airline’s domestic routes. The number of doctors and nurses on each flight will be determined on a first-come-first-served basis depending on the seats available.
Apart from flying medical professionals, the Vistara initiative also offers air cargo assistance to government hospitals and organizations. It will include transporting essential medical supplies for hospitals and would be contingent on cargo room availability. It was specified by the airline that the requesting organization would be responsible for ground transportation to and from the airport and that the airline would not be willing to accommodate ad-hoc requests and parcels at the airport due to logistical and security concerns.
The Indian Air Force has been helping with the airlifting of oxygen cylinders and other critical medical supplies. Under the current crisis, private airlines offering up cargo space could be highly beneficial.
As the states battle with the growing number of COVID-19 cases and insufficiency of oxygen supply and life-saving medicines, Vistara’ initiative to helping with flying medical professionals and essential cargo was an urgent necessity. The use of air transport would significantly reduce the time it takes for the vital equipment to reach its desired destination.
To cope with the insufficiency of oxygen, industry giants like Tata Group, Reliance Industries Ltd, JSW Steel, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, Vedanta group, Jindal Steel and Power, ITC Limited, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) have been producing and distributing tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) across the country.
The second wave of COVID-19 is more chaotic and has resulted in a downfall of the aviation industry again. Whilst air travel has not been banned by the government but the number of people travelling via air has reduced by more than half of what it was in March 2021. The pandemic has been harsh but #WeAreInThisTogether and by getting vaccinated and taking necessary precautions, we will cope with COVID-19.