Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tributes paid to aviation pioneer Maneck Dalal in UK

London: Tributes were paid to Maneck Dalal, the aviation pioneer behind international expansion of Air India, who recently passed away here.

Speaking at a condolence meeting held at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan here, India's High Commissioner to the UK Y K Sinha described Dalal, 98, as a "legendary figure" for the immense contribution he has made in the field of aviation by starting the first flight of Air India from Heathrow to New Delhi and Bombay in 1948.

He died on March 6 this year.

At the age of 29 and at the behest of his hero JRD Tata, the young post graduate from Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, started Air India Office in London in 1948.

He had joined Tata Airlines (Air India) in 1946 and was its Manager in New Delhi, when he had the opportunity to meet Mahatma Gandhi in 1946-1947.

Two years later he was sent to London.

Dalal was truly one of the builders of Air India and was its regional director from 1959-1977.
When he started the twice weekly operations for Air India in 1948 in London, only eight airlines operated out of Heathrow Airport, which was only a collection of huts - one of them being Dalal's office, the Times newspaper said in its recent obituary column.
16/05/17 PTI