Vistara to offer free flights to fight the record Covid surge in India

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Wikimedia Commons, Venkat Mangudi

An Indian airline Vistara, backed by Tata Group, is ready to support India’s governmental efforts to cope with the instant surge of the COVID-19 cases. The airline will offer free services across its domestic network for local doctors and nurses representing governmental health organizations.

In a letter to Usha Pahdee, the Joint Secretary at the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, seen by the local media, the airline announced its willingness to provide employees of the governmental hospitals with free-of-charge air services across the country. The letter suggested that Vistara is ready to accept requests from accredited state health organizations and support the medical workers by flying them free of cost across its domestic network as well as “fly them back on the conclusion of their service”.

“We want to help government organizations/hospitals in immediate need of air logistics. We welcome requests from accredited organizations representing the Government of India and state governments/union territories. We will evaluate these to extend as much support as possible, based on the availability of cargo space,“ the company wrote in a letter.

However, the handling services of ground transport to and from the airport would need to be managed by the requesting state organization as the airline would not be able to honor ad-hoc requests at the airport „for logistical and security reasons“, Vistara declared.

The company also outlined that due to the limited availability of seats, it would accommodate the medical workers on “a first-come-first-serve” basis.

As of April 26, 2021, India recorded more than 352,000 new cases of the COVID-19 virus with a total caseload crossing 17 million infected locals, while the death rate rose by more than 2,800 to a total of 195,123. Several countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States offered the country support while the government struggles to cope with the new spike of the infection.


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