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January 11, 2000
Captain Saran felicitated at Sharjah
Ashok Tuteja in Dubai
Captain Devi Saran, the pilot of the Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 which was recently hijacked while on its way to New Delhi from Kathmandu, was honoured at Sharjah International Airport when he piloted his first international flight after resuming work.
Capt Saran and most crew members of the hijacked plane were back at work within five days of their release by the hijackers, according to an Indian Airlines official.
Capt Saran commanded the Indian Airlines' Mumbai-Calicut-Sharjah flight on the evening of January 5 and was met on arrival by Robert Tabet, Deputy Director General of Sharjah Airport Authority, and senior officials from Indian Airlines, based in Sharjah.
He also piloted the return Sharjah-Calicut-Mumbai flight on the morning of January 6.
Newspapers in Dubai said Capt Saran was presented a bouquet and honoured at the impromptu reception for his role during the hijack crisis.
Downplaying his role in the entire drama, Capt Saran thanked Sharjah Airport and praised its facilities and the air traffic control at Al Minhad airbase off Dubai where the hijacked aircraft spent five hours in a refuelling stop. He also thanked the UAE government for looking after the plane while it was on its soil and negotiating the release of 27 passengers.
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