Aviation geeks seek to script history, up in the air
Mumbai, September 17, 2022
The first is always special. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai, managed and controlled by the Adani Group, witnessed one such moment when the newly launched Akasa Air took off for its maiden journey to another Adani airport destination in Ahmedabad on August 7.
The new carrier's first service was on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. Among its many passengers was a very unusual passenger, 13-year-old aviation geek Abeer Magoo. He was the first passenger to get the boarding pass for the flight during a special ceremony before the historic take-off in the Indian skies.
“I have been an aviation geek since the age of five,” says the class 8 student from Gurgaon, who dreams of becoming a pilot.
Being part of this monumental occasion at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai was the cherry on the cake for him. “I wanted to take the first Akasa Air flight and that is why I flew from Delhi to Mumbai and booked my tickets for the first flight from Mumbai to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad. Little did I know that I would be handed out the first boarding pass in such a grand ceremony,” says Magoo, adding that it was indeed a memorable moment for him to meet late Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, who backed Akasa Air.
The first flight took off after being inaugurated by Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M Scindia along with Minister of State General Vijay Kumar Singh (Retd.)
In fact, 50 percent of the passengers on the first flight were aviation geeks from different parts of the country. Utkarsh Thakkar, another aviation enthusiast, says it was heartening to see the excitement at the airport and in the flight.
“When I started as an aviation geek, there were hardly a dozen of us in India. Today, there are many people who have started following aviation industry, which is a fast-growing sector. The first Akasa Air flight had 50% passengers who were aviation AvGeeks. People were so excited, and many flew from Bangalore, Delhi and Chennai, just to get the experience of flying the first flight and be a part of history,” he says.
And as far as Indian airports are concerned, this aviation enthusiast did have some glorious things to say about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai. “If we look at the interiors and exteriors and the way it is managed, this airport stands out from the rest of the airports in the country. It makes the travelling experience easy and enjoyable. The highlight definitely being The Artbeat of New India - a museum that features over 5,500 artefacts, works of 100 artists and 1,000 artisans. It gives such a wonderful glimpse of India to not just us but also to people from outside of India about our country’s rich heritage,” Thakkar says.