Air New Zealand crew surprise passengers on India flight with Slumdog Millionaire performance

Passengers onboard an Air New Zealand repatriation flight from India have praised airline staff for lifting the mood of travellers with a performance of a hit song from the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

Palak Makwana, a registered diversional therapist, was travelling with her six-year-old daughter back to New Zealand.

Makwana posted a video of the performance on social media where it's been shared hundreds of times.

The solo mother paid $11000 for two tickets on the flight, and says she's now in huge debt as she chose not to use the financial assistance option, for fear it may bump her down the list.

Makwana and her daughter took a 10 hour bus ride from Vadodara to Mumbai before boarding the 13 hour flight to Christchurch.

But, despite these setbacks, she says she's so thankful she could get back to New Zealand.

"I really love my job and there was no one to replace me,  my hospital needed me and my residents were waiting for me," she told Newshub. 

"At Mumbai airport, the New Zealand High Commission made us feel so welcome. On the plane, Air NZ were just awesome, they gave us good service and made us so comfortable."

Makwana's list of people she wants to thank is long. From MFAT staff and Winston Peters to the bus driver who took her and her daughter to isolation.

"I have no words to express my gratitude," she said.

The passengers onboard also put on a special performance, singing both the Indian and New Zealand national anthems, to thank the Air NZ staff who had volunteered to work on the repatriation flight.

The New Zealand Government chartered three Air NZ Boeing 777-300 aircraft to repatriate Kiwis stranded in India due to COVID-19.

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