Since May this year, Captain DV Sathe and his co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar have flown thousands of Indians to their loved ones from abroad after being stranded in foreign soil due to COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.
On Friday too, it would have been yet another flight for the duo and a long-awaited homecoming for 184 passengers on board.
But, it was not to be, at least for some of them onboard the Air India Express IX 1344 from Dubai, which crashed after it overshot the runway in Kozhikode.
One of them was Sharafu Pilassery, a native of native of Kunnamangalam in Kerala.
He was travelling back to India with his wife and child from Dubai.After boarding the flight, Sharafu had posted a photo of the family on Facebook, saying back to home.
Following his death, a friend, Shafi Parakkulam posted on Facebook saying that, before leaving for India, Sharafu had come to his shop and was tensed unlike before, as if he knew something wrong was going to happen. Sharafu had also given some money to Shafi asking him to use to feed people who have been left hungry due to the pandemic.
Kozhikode native Sahira was returning to her home with her three children with an aim to try for a job in her home state.
She along with her youngest son, aged 10 months were killed in the accident, while the two other sons were injured.
Palakkad native Faisal was waiting for his wife's call to tell him that they have reached home safely, but the call he got was to inform him that the flight they were traveling on met with an accident.His daughter Aisha was killed in the accident, while his wife Sumaiya is in a critical condition in hospital.
The Air India Express flight from Dubai with 190 people on board overshot the runway at Kozhikode airport in Kerala in rainy conditions and went down 35 feet into a slope before breaking up into two.