With a view to ease cargo movement across the country amid COVID-19 crisis, the government has allowed airlines, including private carriers, to carry goods in their aircraft.
This, according to reports, will not only ensure supplies to the common people but also help the government ferry essential medical equipment.
Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri was quoted as saying that private airlines are carrying essential medical cargo gratis, and will continue to do so.
Aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola added that the new order by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) allows airlines to carry other non-essential cargo, too.
However, Air India and Alliance Air are ferrying cargo at a ‘minimal’ cost.
Allowing airlines to carry cargo would fetch some much-needed revenue for them, since they have been struggling since the government announced a lockdown, grounding all flights.
Meanwhile, Air India has secured approvals from the Chinese authorities to operate cargo flights between India and Shanghai.