The pair of pilots on the Air India Express plane that took off on its first international flight from Chandigarh to Sharjah are from the tricity. Capt Satvinderjit Singh is a resident of Sector 8, Chandigarh, and co-pilot Gurchetan Singh Virdi belongs to SAS Nagar.
“We waited for this day for 10 years,” said Satvinderjit. “It’s a matter of pride for me to pilot the first international flight from my hometown.”
Having an experience of 30 years, Satvinderjit has been associated with Air India for 12 years. He did his schooling in Himachal Pradesh, then at Guru Gobind Singh College, Chandigarh; and got trained at the Patiala Aviation Club.
It was a proud moment for the family of co-pilot Gurchetan, whose parents reside in SAS Nagar.
Gurchetan’s father Col Tirlochan Singh (retd), said, “He is very excited; I spoke to him last night.” Mother Ranu Virdi is a retired school teacher.
Gurchetan lives in Kochi and flies mostly to the Middle East.
He did his BTech from Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dera Bassi, and joined Air India in 2006. He was sent to the US for training for and returned a year later.
The pilots flew the aircraft from Sharjah and then flew it back too.