Air India's all-women cockpit crew scripts history by flying over North pole on world's longest air route
Bengaluru, Jan 11: With four women pilots, Air India's longest direct route flight landed at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru from San Francisco, flying over the North Pole and covering a distance of about 16,000 kilometres.
The flight number AI176 left San Francisco on Saturday at 8.30 PM (local time) and arrived at 3.45 AM on Monday.
Members of the crew are: Captain Zoya Aggarwal, Captain Papagari Thanmai, Captain Akansha Sonaware and Captain Shivani Manhas.
Speaking to media, Captain Zoya Aggarwal 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.''
''It was an exciting experience since it was never done before. It took almost 17 hours to reach here,'' Shivani Manhas, one of the four pilots who operated Air India's inaugural San Francisco-Bengaluru flight said.
Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted, "Way to go girls! Professional, qualified & confident, the all women cockpit crew takes off from San Francisco to Bengaluru on @airindiain''s flight to fly over the North Pole.Our Nari Shakti achieves a historic first."
Air India too expressed its elation when it tweeted, "Imagine this : -All Women Cockpit Crew. -Longest flight into India. -Crossing the North Pole It''s here & happening! Records broken. History in the making by AI176 from @flySFO to @BLRAirport. AI 176 is cruising at 30000 feet."