May 30, 2024


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Air India’s all-ladies pilot crew make background by finishing country’s longest business flight from San Francisco

(CNN) — An all-female Indian pilot crew produced history this 7 days, following they accomplished the longest non-quit industrial flight ever operated by an Indian national airline.

The team of four cockpit crew associates from Air India accomplished the 17-hour-extended flight on Monday according a assertion introduced by the airline.

“We are India’s daughters who had been supplied the option to make this historic flight,” the commander of the flight, Captain Zoya Aggarwal, who flew the initial leg of the flight, told CNN Travel. “We had been ready to produce a new chapter in the Indian aviation record.”

“I’m extremely very pleased to be a component of this and I have been individually planning for much more than a 12 months for this flight,” she mentioned.

“The check out from the North Pole is wonderful,” stated her co-pilot, Captain Thanmei Papagari, who flew the next half, adding that as women of all ages, they “had a issue to demonstrate that we can do the job.”

They were being joined by two initial officers: Captain Akansha Sonaware and Captain Shivani Manhas.

Air India flight 176 — a Boeing 777 — departed from San Francisco on January 11, and arrived in Bengaluru, in southern India, on Monday at 3.07am India Common Time (4.37pm ET), covering a distance of additional than 8,600 miles, in accordance to the statement.

It is also the initial flight from South India to be connected specifically with the United States, according to a assertion from Kempegowda Worldwide Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB), exactly where the flight landed.

“This is the to start with non-prevent flight amongst Bengaluru and the United States, connecting the world’s two tech hubs and sister metropolitan areas — the original Silicon Valley and the Silicon Valley of India,” the KIAB statement said.

“Immediately after graduating college or university, I was jobless for a quite very long time, as there were being no positions for women pilots,” explained Aggarwal. “I employed to educate youthful pupils who were aspiring pilots.”

Aggarwal, who has additional than 10 decades of encounter, mentioned that her mother and father initially opposed her starting to be a pilot.

“When I originally told my moms and dads I don’t forget the tears in my mom’s eyes because I was anticipated to ‘walk in the shadow of men’ in accordance to society,” said Aggarwal. “But I told my mothers and fathers that this is what I want to do, and I broke absent from the norms.”

Papagari reported that “a large amount of setting up” went into the flight.

“Simply because we flew about the North Pole, there ended up varying things associated,” she stated. “This involves the climate, the solar radiation concentrations, and the availability of airports in case of a diversion.”

India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Puri, congratulated the staff on their journey.

“In a minute to cherish & rejoice, women of all ages experts of Indian civil aviation develop background,” Puri tweeted on Monday. Heartiest Congratulations to Capt Zoya Aggarwal, Capt Papagari Thanmai, Capt Akansha Sonaware & Capt Shivani for traveling around North Pole to land in Bengaluru from San Francisco.”

“[This flight] will develop additional chances for gals,” stated Papagari. “The plan of observing aviation as a male-dominated discipline is reducing. We are remaining found as pilots, there is no differentiation.”

India’s aviation sector heavily invests in teaching ladies to develop into pilots. About 12% of the country’s pilots are women of all ages — the optimum proportion in the globe, in accordance to the Centre for Aviation.

That is approximately 3 occasions the proportion in the US, wherever just 4% are females.

The Boeing 777 flew from New Delhi to San Francisco more than the Pacific Ocean. The crew completed a obligatory relaxation interval in advance of flying in excess of the Atlantic back again to New Delhi, completing the round-the-entire world excursion.