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How Air India’s 1990 'airlift' created a Guinness record

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Feb 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Mumbai, Feb 2: While a debate rages on about the veracity of events depicted in new Bollywood flick ‘Airlift’ on India’s massive evacuation efforts in war-ravaged Kuwait, a former Air India official said it was carried out with ‘clock-work precision’ and made it to the Guinness World Records.

“The film ‘Airlift’ has brought the evacuation of over 117,000 Indians residing in Kuwait once again on the centre stage after 25 years. How did the feat get listed as a record in the Guinness Book makes for an interesting reading,” said former Air India (AI) executive director Jitender Bhargava in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

Bhargava said as head of AI’s Public Relations, he would issue daily media statements about the number of flights that were operated in the past 24 hours, the number of stranded passengers safety brought from Amman in Jordan to various Indian cities, the next day’s plans of flight operations, etc.

“Since it wasn’t the era of Google which ebles one to source information easily, I walked from my office in Air India building to the book store in Eros Cinema complex near Churchgate in Mumbai, picked up a copy of the Guinness Book of World Records to access the address of the editor/publisher of Guinness book,” he recalled.

Armed with that, he posted (the world didn’t know e-mails then) a letter to the Guinness editor enquiring if any record of evacuation by a civil airliner existed.

A fortnight later, Guinness editor replied through a letter that it did not have a record in their books, Bhargava said. (IANS)

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