Meet the essential workers in Chennai who are silently helping you get through the lockdown

Flying high: How young pilot Aswini helped transport essentials during lockdown

The 27-year-old recalls how challenging the last couple of months have been

It’s not just the roads that have been devoid of traffic over the past couple of months. The skies have been clear as well. A Aswini, a First Officer with Blue Dart Aviation, can vouch for that.

Unlike most of us cocooned at home during lockdown, the 27-year-old Chennai-based pilot has been at work: flying a Boeing 757-200 freighter on the Kolkata-Guangzhou and the China-Guwahati-Kolkata route to transport critical PPE and COVID-19-related medical supplies.

“It was a rare opportunity,” says Aswini, who has been flying for the company since 2017. The pilot, who says she dreamt of flying right from when she was six-years-old adds, “When this assignment came up, I happily accepted it.” With support from her husband and in-laws, she set out on what she describes as a “dedicated operation”.

“Flying through the empty sky has been a strange feeling. What used to be a buzzing busy environment is not so anymore,” she says. The blessing in disguise is that there are no waiting periods, or air traffic congestion now. “All that usually leads to significant delays in the aircraft business, but we got a lot of direct routings these couple of months and were able to reach destinations well ahead of time.”

When she is in the skies, Aswini seeks inspiration by thinking of the many healthcare professionals and frontline workers working tirelessly to combat the pandemic. She adds, “I feel that I should also rise to the occasion.”

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 7:00:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/up-in-the-air-pilot-aswinis-flies-on-in-times-of-lockdown/article31686335.ece

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