The newly created airfreight division of the group, CMA CGM Air Cargo on Sunday flew to India for the first time ever a free of charge charted Airbus A330-200 freighter carrying 28 tonnes of medical equipment worth over ₹17 crore from Paris, France to Delhi, India.
The French shipping and logistics group CMA CGM started operating its new air cargo division on March 9, 2021, by operating from Liege in Belgium to Chicago in the United States with its first Airbus A330-200 freighter.
“The freight includes 8 high capacity oxygen generator plants manufactured by the French company Novair. These plants produce medical oxygen from ambient air to supply a hospital’s oxygen system and/or fill cylinders with a flow rate of 20,000 litres per hour. Each plant can continuously supply a 250-bed Indian hospital non-stop for a dozen years. This translates into long-term oxygen autonomy, enhanced resilience to peaks in oxygen demand, savings of up to ₹15 crore/year for the hospital, and eliminates safety issues related to liquid oxygen storage,” reads a French Embassy in India release.
The oxygen plants will be delivered to 8 Indian hospitals, 6 in Delhi, one in Haryana and one in Telangana, based on needs as identified by the Indian authorities.
In addition to the oxygen plants, this airfreight also included 28 ventilators and 200 electric syringe pushers which will be distributed to several hospitals based on needs to enhance their ICU capacities.
This airfreight is the first phase of France’s solidarity mission. Thanks to the numerous contributions of French companies in India with the active involvement of the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI), the second delivery of oxygen generators and medical equipment is underway. Moreover, in the following days, French company Air Liquide will begin shipments of several hundred tons of oxygen through a dedicated logistical bridge organized by both governments and implemented with the Indian armed forces.
The Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain, said, “We stand by India in these difficult times, just as India has always stood by France. In Spring 2020, when French hospitals were facing acute shortages, India provided lifesaving help through the export of critical medical drugs. The French people have not forgotten. India has, in fact, been at the forefront of international cooperation against the pandemic, including through sharing its massive vaccine production capacity with the countries most in need.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said, “Solidarity is at the heart of the strategic partnership between France and India. Each of these oxygen generator plants will make an Indian hospital fully oxygen Aatmanirbhar for more than ten years. I believe healthcare can be a new field to develop our strategic partnership, building on our respective strengths.”