Qatar Airlines intends to transport 300 tonnes of medical aid and the necessary equipment to India as part of support measures to help the Indian government to suppress the second COVID-19 surge in the country.
Qatar Airlines plans to deliver a cargo shipment consisting of oxygen canisters as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical items. In addition, the shipment will also include donations from various companies and individuals. The airline intends to deliver the shipment free of charge in a three-flight cargo aircraft convoy from Doha to various destinations in India on May 3, 2021.
Akbar Al Baker, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Qatar Airways Group outlined that his country “has watched with great sorrow” as the deadly second wave of the virus spread from Indian cities to small towns.
“As one of the world air cargo leaders, with an extensive international network, we stand ready to provide humanitarian support by transporting these much-needed supplies, and help the country fight back against this appalling virus,“ Al Baker was quoted saying in the airline‘s statement.
“Qatar Airways Cargo has already transported well over 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for UNICEF as part of the five-year MoU to support UNICEF’s Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative,” he added.
Meanwhile, on April 26, 2021, the Indian air carrier Vistara also offered the country its support in order to fight the pandemic. The airline announced its willingness to provide local doctors and nurses representing the governmental health organizations with free-of-charge air services across its domestic network.
As of April 30, 2021, India recorded more than 386,555 new cases of the COVID-19 virus with a total caseload crossing 18.8 million infected locals, while the death rate rose by more than 3,498 casualties to a total of 208,000. Several countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States offered the country support while the Indian government struggles to cope with the new spike of the infection.