DUBAI: A Lebanese pilot gave the woman he loves an unforgettable surprise when he proposed to her in front of 245 passengers on a plane shortly before takeoff.
Determined to deliver a marriage proposal to remember, Ibrahim Khatib, a captain with Middle East Airlines, popped the question using the passenger announcement system.
Khatib told Arab News that he decided to surprise his partner straight after making the welcome announcement usually made by pilots from the cockpit.
“She was returning with her mother and sister on the same flight from Istanbul to Beirut. The whole thing took two minutes, and it garnered lots of love, support and applause from passengers,” he said.
In a short video of the romantic moment that was going viral on Wednesday, he can be seen in the cockpit addressing those on board, saying: “Dear passengers, I would like to take the opportunity to welcome a very special passenger on board today. Her name is Chirine El-Hajj Chehade. Could you please stand up?”
Someone else was filming her in the body of the plane and as she did as she was asked, Khatib continued: “I would like to inform you, in front of 245 passengers, that I love you so much and I decided to continue with you for the rest of my life.”
As she stood beside her window seat, Chehade clasped her arms around her waist then covered her mouth as she smiled and shed tears of joy and her fellow passengers gave her a round of applause.
Khatib then said: “Now I will ask you the famous question: Will you marry me?”
Several passengers are heard encouraging Chehade to say yes before she reacted with great joy and said: “For sure I will.”
Amid more applause and cries of joy she then walked down the aisle to meet Khatib outside the cockpit. He left his flight seat, put on his pilot’s jacket, and grabbed a small jewelry box. When the couple met, they hugged, to the delight of the other passengers, and Khatib put the engagement ring on his love’s finger.
Describing the exact moment when he met her in the middle of the plane to give her the ring, the pilot said: “She felt so surprised and a little bit shy. Her hands shivered lightly from the unexpected romantic surprise … she loved it a lot and was in a state of disbelief.”
However, the captain highlighted that since he was in charge of the flight, he had to rush his “surprise proposal” and not delay the takeoff.
“Passengers loved it a lot and Chirine also felt so happy … it was a nice feeling for me as well,” he added.
One Instagram user commented on the video, saying: “Congratulations, this is absolutely beautiful.”
Others wrote, “So sweet,” and “No way! This is such a beautiful and unforgettable proposal.”