China’s state-run Sichuan Airlines to restart operations to India from 9 May

China’s state-run Sichuan Airlines flight (file photo) | Flickr

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Hyderabad: China’s state-run Sichuan Airlines, which had suspended its cargo operations to India following the second wave of COVID-19, will restart services from May 9, a top official of Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) said on Thursday.

Recently, the Pharmexcil had sought the intervention of Indian Ambassador in China into the supply disruption caused by the suspension ofair cargo services of the airlines to India, for 15 days.

“Reference is invited to the above-mentioned subject.

In this regard, I am directed to inform that Sichuan Airlines is restarting its operations from Chengdu to Chennai from 12th May, and from Chengdu to Bengaluru on 9th May 2021, Director General ofPharmexcil, Udaya Bhaskar told PTI quoting an email from the Department of Pharmaceuticals.

Sichuan Airlines had announced the suspension of all its cargo flights to India, causing major disruption to private traders’ efforts to procure the much-needed oxygen concentrators and other medical supplies from China.

This was despite Beijing offering “support and assistance” to India to deal with the latest surge of COVID- 19 cases.

In addition to Sichuan Airlines, there are multiple other cargo operations available from China to India including charter flights, the DoP reply said.

According to Udaya Bhaskar, India sources almost 60 to 70 per cent of its requirements of drug intermediates, key starting materials and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) from China and most importantly 45 to 50 per cent of all APIs imported figure in the National List of Essential Medicines.

Also read: Multilateral response is critical to overcome Covid in India and globally, says IMF


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