After all #AirIndia has done in evacuating Indians from COVID affected countries. I appreciate and salute everyone working for the Airline for risking their lives for us.

I will try flying Air India as much as possible after all gets ohk.

As a gesture of #Gratitude We all should try to do this to revive our national airline.

Love you all at Air India 🙏🏻 #UnsungHeros

Sumit Bardan Air India pilot

The LockDown:
I don’t have news clip to share.. I don’t have memes or jokes to share.. I don’t have challenging games to share.. I don’t have food or coffee recipes to share.. I don’t have workout tips to share.. BOOM, I do have a not-so-short story to share!!

The War Zone:
31st March’ 2020. I reached the CSMIA T3 at 04:30AM, stood still for a minute and looked around being the only soul present. At the gate entry, CISF officers wondered if I had lost my mind and reached the airport by mistake. Then the ghostly walk thru the barren terminal to reach my flight-briefing and be warmly welcomed by my colleagues and friends.

 

The Flight:
Ferrying an empty Boeing 777-300ER (Mumbai-Thiruvananthapuram-Mumbai) to evacuate 232 stranded German tourists who were flown to Frankfurt eventually on the same airplane by a different set of crew.

The BraveHearts:
Vayudoot Travels staff-Airport CISF security staff-CSMIA Terminal staff-AI doctor on duty-AI back office staff-My Lady First Officer-My Cabin Crew team-Immigration officers-Customs officers-Terminal HouseKeeping staff-AI Engineers-AI Security staff-AI Ground Handling Services staff-AI Commercial staff-AI Load & Trim staff-Air Traffic Controllers-Tarmac Operations staff-Various other non-Ground Zero staff.

A special shout at all the brave ladies on my flight team yesterday and especially my Second-in-Command who had the courage to fly so bravely, proud of her.

The Summary:
From the time I sat in the transport at 4am until I got back home around 2pm, every soul my way had a smiling face while greeting each other and none were irritated, disgruntled nor frustrated. They were perhaps spotted embracing their duties with more conviction, dedication and hunger to win this battle desperately.

From the flight deck, just before pushing back.. we witnessed the entire AI Trivandrum team lineup to bid us goodbye with grand salutes and loving smiles while suppressing immense fatigue, fear and an uncertain future. We promptly waved back at them to only see their faces glow with a boost of morale. My love, respect and gratitude at work grew multiple folds today.

In my 17th year of airline flying, I felt the Operation Raahat (Yemen Evacuation-2015) flight from Djibouti was a National Service landmark for me but this fight is truly global and an attack on humanity.

The Appeal:
The FrontLine COVID-19 Warriors are a task force out there with designated duties.. be it in the hospitals, streets, air or in-house. I feel every human self is a warrior today and we got to unite in winning this battle and survive.

So before I drop the mic, just the way we do.. “This is your Captain speaking.. Please Stay Home and Stay Safe”

Good Luck and God Bless Humanity!! 😇🙏🏻😇

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Venkkat Prannit Nissankara
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