Wednesday, August 01, 2018

To retire as proudly as Mumbai-based Pooja Chinchankar did would be everyone's dream.

Pooja, 58, had her last flight as an Air India (AI) airhostess yesterday. It was her daughter Ashrrita, 31, who co-piloted the Mumbai-Bengaluru-Mumbai flight.

For this, Ashrrita had to put in a special request, but she did it to fulfil her mother's long-awaited dream.
Pooja joined AI in December 1980. While deciding her career, daughter Ashrrita had decided to take up mass media.

One day, Pooja "casually" asked her if she wanted to fly, she told HT. "To our surprise, she was prepared to go for the course in two days."

Demand for pilots was also high then as SpiceJet, IndiGo, Kingfisher and others had just started operations.
By the time Ashrrita returned from Canada after earning a commercial pilot license in 2008, the recession had begun.

She had to struggle to keep her license valid.

But by 2016, she had received offers from many airlines, Pooja said. She chose AI and joined the A320 fleet.

This was when Pooja told her daughter about her dream of flying the last flight together.
Ashrrita kept the last flight's arrangement a surprise. Pooja found out they were flying together only when she arrived at the airport.

Shortly before Flight-AI604 was to land, Captain Paresh Nerurkar announced the occasion on the passenger announcement system.

Pooja then walked down the aisle to cheers and applause.
01/07/18 Gogona Saikia/NewsBytes