AAI’s Chennai Airport ensures essential medical supplies despite COVID surge

New Delhi: Airports Authority of India's (AAI) Chennai airport is playing a significant role for the whole southern Indian landscape ensuring that the essential medical supplies are up while our country is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

From January 12 till May 15, Chennai airport has handled 44.26 MT of inbound vaccine and related cargo domestically. The bulk of the vaccine tonnage received were Covishield vaccine shipments through Pune/Mumbai Airports and Covaxin vaccine shipment through Hyderabad Airport. An exclusive vaccine corridor was established by AAICLAS (AAI Cargo Logistics and Allied Services Company Limited) and the AAI team for smooth delivery of vaccines to the consignee on arrival. The vaccines then get further connected to nearby states and districts. In the same period, the Chennai Airport has also received Oxygen concentrator shipments to the tune of 9.53 MT.

On the international front, Chennai Airport has received 402.39 MT of inbound medical essentials till May 15. Most of the consignment can be attributed to oxygen concentrators and medical equipment’s received from destinations viz; Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Singapore, Doha, Kunming, Istanbul, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and France.

The airport is also extending all possible support to Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft movements carrying medical oxygen cylinders and essentials for speedy distribution across the country. Since May 1, IAF brought 900 oxygen cylinders from the UK and 256 oxygen cylinders from Singapore. Oxygen concentrators are also brought in from domestic destinations. Last week also saw an IAF aircraft airlifting liquid oxygen tanker from Chennai Airport. All these movements adhered to the COVID protocols in place.

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Chennai Airport has also organised a COVID vaccination camp for employees of AAI and other stakeholders and approximately 2000 frontline workers have been vaccinated.

In March 2020, when the first nationwide lockdown was declared due to the COVID-19 first wave, the cargo movement at Chennai Airport continued undeterred catering to the entire region. A year later, when our country is passing through another precarious phase, the second wave, Chennai Airport is stepping up to support India’s fight against COVID-19.

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