September 13, 2016 4:36:31 am
For parents of 32-year-old Air India pilot Guruchetan Virdi, September 15 will be a day filled with pride and joy. And why not. Their son will be flying the first international flight which will touch down at the Chandigarh International Airport that afternoon.
Guruchetan will be flying a brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which is scheduled to arrive from Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) around 3:15pm and will fly back to Sharjah at around 4pm.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, father of Guruchetan, Col (retd) Tirlochan Singh Virdi, said it is a double delight for them. “International flights have started from Chandigarh and our son will be flying the first flight,” said Virdi, a third generation Army officer.
Col Virdi said Guruchetan’s flight schedule was released last week. “He called to give us the news. He was very happy,” said the proud father.
The parents will attend the inauguration function to be held on September 15 at the airport. “We have been given the passes by the Air India authorities. We are looking forward to see our son become part of a historic moment,” said the pilot’s mother Ranu Virdi, a retired school teacher.
Interestingly, a delegation from Punjab led by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal will also travel in the same flight and Col Virdi wrote a letter to Sukhbir informing him that his son would be flying the flight.
A married man, Guruchetan is based in Kochi and flies between Kochi and the Middle East. A BTech from Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering & Technology, Dera Bassi, Mohali, Gurchetan was selected by Air India in 2006. In 2008, he was sent to the US for training and he returned a year later. Thereafter, he cleared all the exams in the first attempt. “He always wanted to be a pilot,” said his mother.
Preparations in the airport are in full swing and airport authorities are busy giving finishing touches to ready the airport for the landing of the first international flight.
The flight from Sharjah would operate three days a week, i.e. Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Earlier, IndiGo Airlines had also announced a direct non-stop daily flight from Chandigarh to Dubai from September 26.
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