When Air India pilot Paresh Nerurkar took to the public announcement system on the Mumbai-Bengaluru flight during its initial descent on Tuesday, many passengers feared the information of delayed landing at the airport but what he announced left many teary-eyed.
Captian Nerurkar announced that the flight’s senior-most air hostess, Pooja Chinchakar, will retire after rendering 38 years of service. And her legacy would now be carried forward by Pooja’s daughter, Ashrrita, who was with him in the cockpit with him on the Airbus A-319 to Mumbai.
After the announcement, Pooja Chinchakar walked down the isle the last time and passengers cheered and applauded. Ashrrita tweeted the video of the moment recorded by other passengers and twitterati erupted to goodwill messages.
According to one of the passengers, both mother and daughter stood on the aircraft door greeting passengers as they all disembarked.
They were all gushing how alike we looked and wished the best for my mother’s retired life,”emotional Ashrrita told TOI.
For Pooja, her daughter becoming an Air India pilot was a dream fulfilled. “When I joined Indian Airlines in 1980, there were only two woman pilots in the company, including Captain Saudamini Deshmukh (India’s first woman commander). Some years later, when I had a daughter, I wanted her to become a pilot.
As she grew up, she saw me getting ready to go to the airport in my graceful uniform, interacting with colleagues, and the family flying together for vacations,” Pooja was quoted as saying to TOI.
Telling the heartwarming emotional story, Pooja said that Ashrrita got her pilot licence in 2008 from Canada but when she returned, there were no jobs for pilots. The family struggled to keep Ashrrita’s licence valid, and it was in 2016 when she finally got a job with Air India and joined the A320 fleet.
Since then the two had flown together quite a few times but Ashrrita recalls that her mother was always professional calling her captain on the flight.
“AI is my family. I will take her legacy forward in the airline. We want AI to be the star of the sky,” tweeted Ashrrita.
Air Indian also tweeted to this wishing Pooja bright future. “Our heartfelt wishes to your mother and you for this special flight when she passes the baton on to you to have the privilege of serving our passengers with dedication. The legacy lives on.”
The emotional story has found many users congratulating the duo.