Staycation - The $1 Flight That Goes Nowhere

Staycation – The $1 Flight That Goes Nowhere

A RETIRED aircraft engineer is offering impoverished Indians the chance to fulfil their dreams of air travel for only $1.

The twist is that aircraft never leaves the ground – earning it the nickname ‘the flight to nowhere’.

Bahadur Chand Gupta, 58, from Haryana in northern India, purchased a decommissioned Airbus 300 in 2003 for £60,000. Parked on the outskirts of New Delhi, on the periphery of the capital’s International airport, the plane is mostly visited by children and the region’s underprivileged citizens.

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Teacher: Bahadur Chand Gupta explains how to fly a plane to a group of children from a nearby village at the cockpit of his Airbus A300

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Opportunity: a line of children hold their boarding passes as they wait to enter the plane

Gupta, an engineer who worked with the Indian Airlines, said: “I belong to a very small village in Haryana. 

“When I was working, people from my village used to ask me about the aircraft.

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Stairway to the skies: Gupta bought the decommissioned Airbus for only £60,000

“Many of my friends in my villages used to ask if I could take them inside an airport so that they can see the aircraft from close quarters as they could not afford to travel in an Airbus.

“I took my friend inside the airport somehow but the authorities caught me. Then I decided to sell my land so that I can buy an Airbus.”

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Overjoyed: most of the visitors to the aircraft are children or underprivileged

Gupta charges visitors according to their social status and also provides free lunch to poor people who come to experience the flight.

“If the person is poor, we don’t charge him and if the person comes from a middle class family, we charge him 1$,” he said.

Staycation - The $1 Flight That Goes Nowhere

Onboard perks: a flight attendant hands out sweets to the assembled children.

Staycation - The $1 Flight That Goes Nowhere

Service with a smile: Gupta charges middle class guests $1 and allows poorer visitors in for free

And the flight-mad philanthropist says he has succeeded in his mission to give the region’s poor the chance to experience the wonder of air travel. 

“Lot of people used to come to see the plane but now people are not coming in that number as most of them have already seen it,” he said.

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Safety first: Gupta teaches visitors how to inflate their life jackets in the event of a crash.

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Escape: a guests tries out the aircraft’s emergency slide

Gupta’s new mission is to train people so that they can help themselves in case of aircraft emergencies.

He added: “I train people for the emergencies. We teach them how save lives in case of fire and how to jump from the aircraft.”

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The happy crew: ‘Captain’ Bahadur Chand Gupta poses with the flight attendants Ridhi Sehgal (left), Pratibha Dalal (right) and Sapna Singh (far right)

Watch the video below;

 

Videographer / Director: Virendra Khanna
Producer: Haziq Qadri, Basit Umer
Editor: Joshua Douglas



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