Over 14 tonnes of Oxford Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccines will be flown from Pune in ten flights on Tuesday.
The government inked a contract with Serum Institute of India for 11 million doses and these would be flown out of Pune in the first phase.
SpiceJet carried the first doses from Pune in its 8 am Delhi flight. The first consignment of Covishield consisting of 34 boxes and weighing 1088 kg was carried from Pune to Delhi on SpiceJet flight 8937
The airline is also using its freighters to transport vaccines to Kolkata, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar and Vijaywada.
"SpiceJet is fully committed and prepared to transport the Covid vaccine both within and outside India. Today marks the beginning of a long and decisive phase in India’s fight against the pandemic and SpiceJet is proud to assist in the biggest vaccination drive in the history of mankind,” said the airline's chairman and managing director, Ajay Singh.
Air India will be transporting vaccines on its Pune-Ahmedabad flight on Tuesday morning, the airline's executive director (cargo) Nirbhik Narang confirmed.
"Along with Pune we will be transporting vaccines from Mumbai. We are fully prepared to transport them," he added.
Vaccines will also be carried on IndiGo's flights from Pune to Chandigarh and on GoAir's flight to Chennai and Lucknow.
While Pune airport will see bulk of the movement, vaccines would also be trucked to Mumbai and flown to different locations within the country. A task force has been created at Mumbai airport comprising all stakeholders for speedy handling.
According to aviation sources the Serum Institute vaccines will be packed in a box of 32 kilograms. Each box would have around 12,000 doses and gel packs for refrigeration.