Air India’s longest direct route flight with the all-women cockpit crew landed at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru from San Francisco on Monday, flying over the North Pole and taking the Atlantic route to cover a distance of about 16,000 kilometers.
The four women pilots Captains Zoya Aggarwal, Papagari Thanmai, Akansha Sonaware, and Shivani Manhas were operating a Boeing 777 200 (long-range or LR) VT-ALG named ‘Kerala’.
The flight number AI176 left San Francisco on Saturday at 8.30 pm (local time) and arrived at 3.07 am, Air India tweeted today.
“Welcome Home Capt Zoya Agarwal, Capt Papagiri Thanmei, Capt Akanksha & Capt Shivani after completing a landmark journey with touchdown @BLRAirport. Kudos for making Air India proud. We also congratulate passengers of AI176 for being part of this historic moment,” Air India mentioned in a tweet.
Earlier, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had tweeted: “Way to go girls! Professional, qualified & confident, the all women cockpit crew takes off from San Francisco to Bengaluru on Air India flight to fly over North Pole. Our Nari Shakti achieves a historic first,” the Minister tweeted.
“Air India’s woman power flies high around the world. All women’s cockpit crew consisting of Captain Zoya Agarwal, Capt Papagari Thanmai, Capt Akanksha Sonawane, and Capt Shivani Manhas will operate the historic inaugural flight between Bengaluru and San Francisco,” he had said.
Divestment-bound Air India is serving 57 domestic destinations within India and 45 international destinations in 31 countries across five continents. Air India will operate the flights using state-of-the-art Boeing 777-200LR long-range aircraft equipped with 238 seats, comprised of 8 First Class, 35 Business Class, and 195 Economy Class seats.