Indian Air Force pilot about to return to India from Pakistan, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s parents travelling to meet their son, deboarded their flight amidst standing ovation and applause in early hours today (1 March 2019), reports Times of India.
The Chennai-Delhi flight came to a stop at the tarmac well past the midnight but there was no rush among passengers to collect their bags from overhead bins as their eyes were focused on the parents of IAF pilot. The passengers made way for the couple in ensuring that they get off first.
In the videos shared online by people present there, the duo is seen humbly accepting the applause, cheering and thank-yous with folded hands and head-nods. The couple is all set to receive their son at the Wagah border.
Varthaman, an expert Sukhoi-30 fighter pilot and a graduate of the Khadakwasla-based National Defence Academy was captured by Pakistan on 27 February (Wednesday) after his aircraft crashed. His father is also a decorated senior IAF officer.
The family which has shown remarkable fortitude and patience in the light of unfortunate events, broke into celebrations on Thursday after Prime Minister Modi announced that the officer would be released on Friday. While boarding the flight from Chennai, the father told The Hindu, “I just want to see my son first... I can react only after that.”