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Saturday, February 20, 2016
Heroic flight attendant Neerja Bhanot inspires powerful new movie
Feb 18, 2016
MUMBAI: Today’s release of the film ‘Neerja’, produced by Fox Star India, had many audiences across the country choked with emotion and left in awe of a 22-year old flight attendant. Neerja Bhanot was shot by terrorists while helping passengers escape Pan Am Flight 73, a Boeing 747 flying from Mumbai to Frankfurt and New York via Karachi, which was hijacked on 5 September 1986.
On that fateful day in Karachi, as four terrorists rushed in, Neerja shouted the hijack code to a flight attendant who conveyed it to the cockpit. She also hid the passports of 41 American passengers on the plane, preventing them from being identified. In the final hour, she gave her own life, while shielding three small children from gunfire on the 747. Twenty passengers were killed by the hijackers and over 100 injured. Neerja was posthumously granted bravery awards by Pakistan, India, and the US.
India’s largest airline, budget operator IndiGo in partnership with Fox and Bling saluted the spirit of Neerja by hosting the film screening in Mumbai. “Standing in solidarity with the members of the airline industry who work tirelessly to make air travel safe and comfortable, IndiGo crew will go all out wearing badges with the hashtag#IamNeerja on all flights for a week of 19 Feb,” said the airline in a statement.
The carrier this week also launched a social media contest under the hashtag #6EGirlPower, asking people to name the women who have inspired them. This resulted in hundreds of responses; five winners were chosen to attend the film with Sonam Kapoor, the actress who played Neerja.
IndiGo asked followers to salute their heroes in a social media campaign
Read more on RunwayGirlNetwork.com
About Neelam Mathews
Contributing Editor Neelam Mathews, who is based in Delhi, has been writing about Asian aviation and beyond – including Africa – for over a decade. She has done long stretches of writing for Aviation Week, AIN, Jane’s Airports and many more. With travel as part of her DNA, she has written regularly for inflight magazines... Read More