Monday, June 08, 2020

'We have come a long way': Hardeep Singh Puri remembers Air India's first-ever international flight

Even as Air India has been involved in the Vande Bharat mission, flying Indians stranded abroad back home, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on June 8 shared an interesting tidbit about the national carrier on Twitter.

"A Constellation aircraft took off from Mumbai on June 8 & landed in London via Cairo & Geneva on June 10, 1948 with 35 passengers on board on the first-ever international flight by Air India," Puri tweeted today, adding, "Today, we have come a long way".

He shared this information along with a picture listing some more facts from Air India's first flight.

According to the image shared by Puri, the Mumbai-London flight was a 5,000-mile journey and was called "Malabar Princess". The 40-seater Lockheed L-749 was commanded by KR Guzdar, and, interestingly, had on board JRD Tata and Nawab Amir Ali Khan of Jamnagar among others.
The government had banned international flights after the national lockdown. For Vande Bharat Mission, Air India has got the lion's share of flights, with IndiGo being the only private airline to join the exercise.
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