Indian Airlines defined flying for three generations post-Independence and setting example for other Corporate houses. There was a time in our countries when Cooperate houses in India didn’t have enough or none women employed and But Air India aka Indian Airlines broke the glass ceiling a public sector enterprise was one of the early pioneers, when they hired Durba Banerjee as its pilot within few years of its inception in 1953.
Air India set up another milestone by celebrating International Women’s Day in unique way by flying 12 international and over 40 domestic flights with an all-women crew on board. India’s National Carrier Air India released a statement and was quoted saying “Air India is set to fly 12 all-women crew flights on its medium and long-haul international routes and over 40 return domestic and short-haul flights all over India to celebrate the International Women’s Day on March 8 this year.”
An all-women pilot team of Air India is all create to set create a record which will be etched in the history books for times to come. As per official update, Air India Captain Zoya Agarwal is all set to fly over the North Pole on the world’s longest air route. The flight took off from San Francisco, by covering a distance of around 16,000 kilometres to reach Bengaluru.
This was not the first time that Air India pilots have flown over polar route, but this was the first instances that a team of all-women pilots flew over the North Pole. An Air India official was quoted saying “Flying through the North Pole is very challenging and airline companies send their best and experienced pilots on this route. This time Air India has given responsibilities to a woman captain for the journey from San Francisco to Bengaluru via polar route.”
AI Captain Zoya Agarwal was quoted saying “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. 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.”
Capt. Zoya also spoke about the challenges that is faced by Flying over the North Pole and was quoted saying “The thrill of actually realising that you will be passing the North pole where the compass will flip 180 degrees…something which is fascinating indeed.”
This is not the first feather under the cap for Captain Agarwal as she is also the youngest woman to ever fly a Boeing-777 way back in 2013. She said that “I am the youngest woman commander in the world on Boeing 777. Women should have self-belief even if they face societal pressure not consider any task impossible.”