Victims of the Air India Express crash in Kerala on Friday. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The horrific Air India Express plane crash in Kerala of India on Friday, August 7, resulted in the death of 18 people.

The flight IX 1344 from Dubai overshot the runway while landing at the Calicut International Airport in Kozhikode, splitting into two.

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The Boeing 737 was carrying 191 passengers and was part of India’s Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate stranded citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here is what we know of the precious lives that were lost:

Deepak Vasanth Sathe

Deepak Vasanth Sathe, pilot

Deepak Vasanth Sathe, pilot, was an Indian Air Force retiree and a senior Wing Commander from the state of Maharashtra. With over 30 years of flying experience, he reportedly graduated from the 58th course of the National Defence Academy.

He reportedly went on to graduate with a ‘Sword of Honour’ from the Air Force Academy. The ‘Sword of Honour’ is awarded to the cadet first in the order of merit when passing from national service training academies including those of the defence, navy or the air force.

Akhilesh Kumar

Akhilesh Kumar, co-pilot

Akhilesh Kumar, co-pilot, also died in the plane tragedy. On Sunday, August 9, Kumar was cremated in Mathura, his hometown in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.  He is survived by his pregnant wife, Megha whom he married in 2017, his two younger brothers, a sister and his parents. Akhilesh began flying with Air India in 2017 and was the first officer of the Air India Express flight from Kozhikode-Dubai-Kozhikode in May, which was part of the first phase of the Vande Bharat Mission.

Sharafudheen Pilassery

Sharafudheen Pilassery, 35, from Kozhikode

Sharafudheen Pilassery worked as a salesman in Sharjah.

He was on the flight with wife Ameena Sherin and daughter Isa Fathima. Pilassery succumbed to his injuries and his daughter is struggling for life. Ameena luckily is safe.

Just hours before his death, Pilassery posted a picture of the three of them in the aircraft with a tag line saying “Back to home.”

Azam Mohammad Chembayi

One-year-old Azam Mohammad, the youngest victim,

was travelling with his mother Shahira Banu, who was also killed.

Azam’s two siblings, aged eight and four, have survived.

Shahira Banu

Shahira Banu, 29 from Merikkunnu in Kozhikode

Shahira Banu was travelling with her three children on the ill-fated plane.

While two of her children survived, her one-year-old son, Azam Mohammad succumbed to injuries.

Janaky Kunnoth, 55

Janaky Kunnoth

from Naduvannur in Kozhikode

Janaky Kunnoth worked as a domestic help in UAE.

Following her job loss owing to the pandemic,

Kunnoth was on the repatriation flight to return home and

start life all over again.


Shivathmika Muraleedharan, 5

Shivathmika Muraleedharan succumbed to injuries en route to the hospital on Friday.

She was travelling with her mother Remya and brother Yadudev.

Her mother also died in the crash while Yadudev survived.

Remya Muraleedharan, 32, from Kakkattil in Kozhikode

Remya Muraleedharan lived with her husband and two children in Ras Al Khaimah. Her husband Muraleedharan worked in an AC maintenance firm in Ras Al Khaimah. Remya and her children were travelling home as it is school holidays in UAE.

Manal Ahmed

Manal Ahmed, 25 from Nadapuram in Kozhikode

This is perhaps one of the saddest tales of the plane tragedy. Manal Athif Muhammed was pregnant and going home for her delivery.

Her husband Athif Muhammed and Manal would have celebrated their first wedding anniversary this week.

Lailabi K.V

Lailabi K.V, 51, from Edappal, Malappuram

Lailabi K.V was on a visit to the UAE to spend time with her husband, son and grand-daughter. In an interview to Gulf News, her son Ummer said her last words to him before boarding the ill-fated flight was to be a good father.

Sheza Fathima

Sheza Fathima, 2, from Tirur in Malappuram

Two-year-old Sheza Fathima, who perished in the crash is believed to have been flying with her mother Shahad Banu, 26, and five-year-old brother Mohammad Shaheem. All three of them were stranded visitors who gave their home address as Keezheduthil House in Kallingal area of Tirur in Malappuram district.

Ayisha Dua

Aysha Dua from Mannarkkad, Palakkad

A picture of Ayisha Dua and her father Murtaza Faisal at the Dubai International Airport touched many hearts. Dua was travelling with her mother Sumayya Thasneem (27).

While the mother survived the crash, Dua succumbed to her injuries on Friday. In an emotional call to Gulf News, her father Faisal said he was not sure if the scars of losing his child will ever go.

Sudeer Variyath

Sudeer Variyath,


from Valancheri in Malappuram

Sudeer Variyath was a worker

who sought repatriation after losing his job.

Saheer Sayed

Saheer Sayed, 38

from Tirur in Malappuram

Crash victim Saheer Sayed, 38, from Tirur in Malappuram

was a tourist whose visa expired.


Muhammed Riyas V. P, 24, from Chalavara in Palakkad

Muhammed Riyas V.P, 24, was flying home for his marriage planned a year ago.

Riyas fell in love with Hanya, his junior in college, while he was doing his bachelor’s degree in Commerce at Ideal College in Cherpulassery, his uncle, Ashraf Ali, told Gulf News over the phone from Kerala on Sunday. He was popular in college and was the college students’ union chairman.

Cherikka Parambil Rajeevan

Cherikka Parambil Rajeevan, 61, from Balussery in Kozhikode

Cherikka Parambil Rajeevan was flying home due to an medical emergency.

“Not feeling well. Salary cut. Want to meet family,” he added.

Santha Marakkatt

Santha Marakkatt,


from Tirur in Malappuram

Zenobia Puthiyapanthakalakam, 40 from South Beach Road in Kozhikode

Zenobia Puthiyapanthakalakam was travelling with Azam Ali, 15 and five-year-old Ahmed Ali, who are believed to her children.