A distance of13,993 km from San Francisco to Bengaluru with a time zone change of around 13.5 hours was covered by Air India’s all-woman cockpit crew successfully on Monday. Members of the crew for this historic fight were Captain Zoya Aggarwal, Captain Papagari Thanmai, Captain Akansha Sonaware and Captain Shivani Manhas. Captain Zoya Aggarwal was quoted saying, “Today, we created world history by not only flying over the North Pole but also having all women pilots who successfully did it. We are extremely proud to be a part of it”.
It is indeed a great accomplishment by our girls since this is the longest ever direct route flight by any Indian Carrier till date. Praises have been pouring in from every part of the country for the outstanding job done by the passionate crew members including the Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Puri.
“In a moment to cherish and celebrate, women professionals of Indian civil aviation create history,” Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri wrote on Twitter. “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 tweeted.
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. pic.twitter.com/P6EvJChMGB
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) January 11, 2021
Flight AI176 departed from San Francisco in the USA at around 8.30 pm (local time) on Saturday and landed at the Kempegowda International Airport at around 3.45 am (local time) on Monday.
The flight was operated with a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft with a seating capacity of 238 seats, including eight First Class, 35 Business Class,195 Economy class configuration besides four cockpit and 12 cabin crew.
Aggarwal, the lead pilot on flight, had told NDTV that the crew was going to try and fly over the North Pole on the eve of this historic flight. “However, it depends on multitude of factors like solar radiations and the turbulence,” she added. “So, we are going to sit tight and hope that we will go polar and break all sorts of records.”
Truly, a proud moment for India and Air India in particular for creating a one-of -its kind of record. Surely, sky is the limit and our girls have proven it in the best possible way.