Coronavirus | Chennai airport handled 400 flights to transport over 8,000 tonnes of cargo during lockdown

Chennai airport has handled over 8,000 metric tonnes of cargo in the last two months, handling several essential and non essential goods from and to various cities across the country and foreign destinations too.

Officials of Airports Authority of India (AAI) said, during the lockdown period, there have been nearly 400 aircraft movements — 200 flights arriving and 200 departing — at Chennai airport, with airlines like SpiceJet, Air India and IndiGo transporting cargo. “Persons who handle the cargo are given masks and gloves and the entire airside is disinfected regularly,” an official said.

SpiceJet has operated 18 international cargo flights and 110 domestic cargo flights from March 24 to April 21, carrying as much as 80 tonnes to Bangkok, Singapore, Myanmar and 630 tonnes to places like Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata, Kochi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kozhikode, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Surat and Thiruvananthapuram.

“On April 7, SpiceJet operated India’s first cargo-on-seat flight, carrying vital supplies in passenger cabin & belly space from Delhi to Chennai. Since then, the airline has been regularly deploying its B737 and Q400 passenger aircraft to carry cargo in the passenger cabin. Also, on April 9, SpiceJet operated its first cargo freighter to Singapore to bring critical medical equipment to Chennai,” the airline said, in a statement.

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