Air India all-women crew makes history
First Published Jan 11, 2021, 11:18 AM IST
Air India's longest direct route flight with the all-women pilot team landed at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru from San Francisco, completing a historic journey
Air India's longest direct route flight, which was helmed by an all-women crew, landed at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru from San Francisco early today.
The aircraft flew over the North Pole and covered about 16,000 kilometers.
Commanding the flight were captains Zoya Aggarwal, Papagari Thanmai, Akansha Sonaware and Shivani Manhas. They are joined by the airline's executive director of flight safety, captain Nivedita Bhasin.
Upon arrival in Bengaluru, Captain Zoya Aggarwal, who has over 8,000 flying hours under her belt, said: "Today, we created world history by not only flying over the North Pole but also by having all women pilots who successfully did it. We are extremely happy and proud to be part of it. This route has saved 10 tonnes of fuel."
Captain Shivani Manhas said, "It was an exciting experience since it was never done before. It took almost 17 hours to reach here."
Union Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter to celebrate the moment.
He said, "In a moment to cherish & celebrate, women professionals of Indian civil aviation create history."
"Heartiest Congratulations to Capt Zoya Aggarwal, Capt Papagari Thanmai, Capt Akansha Sonaware & Capt Shivani for flying over North Pole to land in Bengaluru from San Francisco," he said.
The Bengaluru-San Francisco flight utilised a 12-year-old Boeing 777-200LR that has a seating capacity of 238 passengers. The aircraft had its initials, 'Kerala' marked on its exterior.
Air India is also planning to start its first ever non-stop service between Hyderabad and Chicago on January 15.
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