New Delhi, September 23, 2020.
Vande Bharat Mission consists of special repatriation flights operated by Indian carriers and chartered flights operated by both Indian and foreign carriers. As per information provided by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), till 31.08.2020, more than 11 lakh Indians (excluding land border crossings) have returned to India under the Vande Bharat Mission.
Ministry of Civil Aviation launched ‘Lifeline UDAN’ on 26.03.2020. Lifeline UDAN was an initiative to ensure a steady supply of essentials as well as medical supplies, PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment), test kits etc. to all parts of the country. For this purpose, the Ministry facilitated establishing Lifeline UDAN mechanism to match the requirements/consignments of States /UTs/MoHFW (HLL & ICMR)/other Ministries with special flight plans.
Initially, the consignor State Govts./UTs/agencies were to incur the transportation cost for Lifeline UDAN flights. However, a contingency expenditure plan for excess expenditure upto a total amount of Rs.30 crore was approved for payments of Lifeline UDAN operations to be made by MoCA. As of 18.09.2020, an amount of Rs.18.95 crore has been reimbursed by MoCA to airlines/ground handling agencies for Lifeline UDAN flights.