An all-women pilot team of Air India will fly over the North Pole on the world’s longest air route as the carrier’s first non-stop service between San Francisco and Bengaluru will start on Saturday. Captain Zoya Aggarwal, Captain Papagari Thanmai, Captain Akansha Sonaware and Captain Shivani Manhas will be among the all-women pilot team to fly the longest commercial flight in the world.
The flight will be commanded by Captain Aggarwal, who has a flying experience of more than 8,000 flying hours. She has command experience in a B-777 aircraft of more than 10 years and more than 2,500 flying hours. She was also the youngest woman pilot to fly a Boeing-777 in 2013.
“Women should have self-belief even if they face societal pressure and not consider any task impossible,” Captain Agarwal said. “I am extremely proud to have with me experienced women team comprising Captains Thanmai Papagari, Akanksha Sonawane and Shivani Manhas. This is the first time an all-women pilots team will fly over the North Pole and create a history of sorts. It’s indeed a dream come true for any professional pilot,” she told news agency ANI.
A team of all-women Air India pilots is expected to script history by flying over the North Pole in an effort to cover the longest air route in the world. The flight, commanded by AI Captain Zoya Agarwal, will leave from San Francisco and reach Bengaluru after flying over the North Pole and covering a distance of 16,000 kilometres.
Talking to ANI Captain Zoya Agarwal said, “Most people in the world will not see the North Pole or even its map in their lifetime. I feel truly feel privileged and humbled by the trust posed in me by the civil aviation ministry and our flag carrier. It is a golden opportunity to command a Boeing 777 inaugural SFO-BLR, one of the world’s longest flight over the North Pole.”
Talking about her team she said, “I am extremely proud to have with me experienced women team comprising Captains Thanmai Papagari, Akanksha Sonawane and Shivani Manhas. This is the first time an all-women pilots team will fly over the North Pole and create a history of sorts. It’s indeed a dream come true for any professional pilot.”
However, this is not the first accomplishment for Captain Agarwal, who became the youngest woman to ever fly a Boeing-777 in 2013. An Air India official told the news agency that the journey was very difficult and that airline companies only send the very best and most experienced of their pilots to fly over the North Pole.