Antonov Airlines has enlisted its An-124 to transport critical medical equipment to India. The aircraft carried 70 tonnes worth of oxygen concentrators from Israel to New Delhi. This comes as more airlines add aid flights to India to deliver much-needed air.
Monday saw Antonov Airlines fly in its second-largest aircraft to New Delhi to deliver crucial aid. The An-124 was carrying 2,500 oxygen concentrations that were imported from Israel for emergency use in hospitals. Antonov partnered with its Indian sales agent Flywell Aviation and logistics firm Delhivery to further transport the concentrators across India.
The aircraft departed Tel Aviv in the morning and made a brief technical stop in Dubai for refueling. Soon after that, the An-124 landed safely in Delhi at night, carrying the critical cargo.
Notably, this isn’t the first time in recent memory that the huge An-124 has landed in Delhi. Just over two weeks ago, Volga-Dnepr used one its An-124’s to fly 12 containers of liquid medical oxygen from China. This was also a part of efforts to boost the shortage of oxygen states across India are facing.
Since April, India has been battling a catastrophic wave of COVID-19 that has blown past global records. Cases reached a peak of 414,000 in the first week of May, after weeks of sustained caseloads above 300,000. This sudden rise in cases meant that the already-creaky healthcare system quickly buckled under the weight of so many cases.
This led to an oxygen shortage across the country, prompting organizations and countries to fly in aid into India. The most common equipment has oxygen concentrators, which can be used to treat patients with low oxygen saturation.