All you need to know about Air India’s all-women pilot crew which scripted history


In a historic move, Air India’s longest direct route flight with the all-women pilot team landed at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru from San Francisco, flying over the North Pole and covering a distance of about 16,000 kilometers. Air India Captain Zoya Agarwal, commanded the flight over North Pole.

Before the flight Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri reacted over the history in making and had said, “Air India’s woman power flies high around the world, our Nari Shakti achieves a historic first.” It was the first direct non-stop flight between the west coast of the United States and southern India.

Flown by four women pilots, the first non-stop flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru landed at Kempegowda International airport in Bengaluru at 3.07 am on Monday, flying over the North Pole and covering a distance of about 16,000 kilometers. The flight was operated by an all-women cockpit crew of Captain Zoya Aggarwal (P1), Captain Papagari Thanmai (P1), Captain Akansha Sonaware (P2) and Captain Shivani Manhas (P2), who responded to the cheers and clapping by showing the thumbs-up sign.

The longest flight over the North Pole is another feather in Captain Zoya’s cap as she was the youngest woman pilot to fly a Boeing-777 in 2013. She became the first woman commander of Air India to command flight over the North Pole. Though Air India pilots have flown over polar route earlier also, it is for the first time a team women pilots flew over the North Pole.

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