One of the captains of the flight, First Officer Captain G Priyavignesh started announcing in Tamil and pointed out important landmarks on the route. He recorded the video with the help of a friend and posted it on social media and it soon went viral. “During my training class in Madras Flying Club, we used to practice announcements in our mother tongue. Our instructor Gerald also encouraged us and from then on, it became a fantasy for us. But pilots hardly announce in their mother tongue. Though the government agreed to do in-flight announcements in local languages, not all airlines do it because of various reasons. Though I have done in-flight announcements in Tamil earlier, this is the first time I decided to record it with the help of a friend. Instead of just announcing, I added a poetic touch to it,” says Priyavignesh.
The pilot shares that a few of his seniors inspired him to make a big step and do the Tamil announcement. “Whenever I fly with captains from other states, they ask me to teach them a few words in Tamil so that they can greet passengers in Tamil. One of my seniors, Captain Sanjeev Kumar used to tell me the importance of recognising topographies and not depend only on the navigation system. He always encouraged me to spot the landmarks wherever I fly,” he adds. Priyavignesh recollects that the cabin crew informed him that 90 per cent of the passengers were Tamils. “Everyone is stressed during this period and I thought if I can cheer the passengers with a Tamil announcement it would bring a smile to their faces. Since it is a rare thing, passengers welcomed the gesture. I got good feedback for the video I posted. Many passengers shared their opinion to the cabin crew,” he remarks.