Pilots standing strong amidst crisis

Capt. Nitin Anand | Updated on: Jun 26, 2022
Pilot community: Provided stability during repatriation

Pilot community: Provided stability during repatriation

Rigorous training contributes to their calm composure

We have often been portrayed as superheroes, as we face the inherent risks associated with flying in the gradual changing seasons to flying in war-like situations, with the recent strife in Ukraine.

During these unprecedented times, pilots have made an indelible mark on society at large through their tireless efforts. They demonstrate their mettle in ensuring a smooth and seamless travel experience for passengers. The rigorous training and selection processes and later training on a continuous basis, have no doubt helped the pilots to learn and adapt to new situations as they arise. During the Vande Bharat Mission, pilots and cabin crew flew thousands of Indians stranded all over the world to their homeland, relentlessly serving their duty to bring them home. While the world was confined to their homes, these crew members stepped out every day.

Although the pilot community faced challenges resulting from the pandemic, they stood strong against risks to provide stability and continuity for individuals as they returned home.

This battle continued and we were united in our effort to define a new flying experience for every individual, but it soon was replaced by a war we didn’t anticipate.

As a result of the conflict in Ukraine, after the Russian forces entered Ukraine, Indian families urged the government to bring back their family members and loved ones. The number of Indian students waiting to get back home stood at a massive 20,000. While government embassies and officials were looking at measures to carry out evacuation plans with utmost safety, pilots and cabin crew were also roped in to perform their duty. Operation Ganga needed their shoulders and wings.

What followed was a lesson in precise planning and dedication to service.

Flights flew into Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Moldova to evacuate the Indian nationals who had crossed over to these countries from Ukraine. By March 10th, over 100 flights left their trails brazing through the sky and history as we undertook repatriation efforts to unite stranded students with their loved ones back home. But this was only a part of the story. From Vande Bharat Mission to Operation Ganga, our aviation workforce in uniform led from the forefront with fortitude and resilience. As they roared through the skies, they extended their lines of duty and continued to build trust and faith in the community.

The writer is Director, Flight Operations, AirAsia India

Published on June 26, 2022
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