BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 5
mid the prevailing Covid-19 crisis in the country, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has clocked 500 hours of flying operations to airlift cryogenic oxygen containers from abroad and within the country, as of May 4.
IAF has airlifted oxygen containers and relief materials from Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok, Frankfurt, and the United Kingdom. On May 4, 900 cylinders were brought in from the UK.
In its longest operation to date with a duration of 35 hours, an IAF C17 Globemaster III landed at Chennai at 11:30 am on Tuesday carrying 37 tonnes of oxygen cylinders from Brize Norton in the United Kingdom, an IAF statement said.
“Having taken off from Jamnagar Airbase late on 02 May 2021, the aircraft carried out only two halts at Brize Norton (for loading and turn around) and Cairo, Egypt (for refuelling),” the statement went on to add.
Meanwhile, the IAF has clocked 360 hours in the country and transported 180 empty cryogenic oxygen tanks, as well as other relief supplies such as oxygen cylinders, oxygen plant equipment, essential medicines, and hospital equipment.
The IAF RAMT (Rapid Action Medical Team) and Indian Navy medical officers and personnel have also been airlifted.
The IAF has employed eight C-17, four IL-76, ten C-130, and twenty An-32 aircraft, as well as Mi-17V5 and Chinook helicopters, totalling over 360 hours of flying.
The Indian Navy has also stepped in, sending seven ships to transport filled oxygen containers from abroad.