Led by captain Zoya Aggarwal, an all-women crew of Air India is set to create history by flying over the North Pole from San Francisco to Bengaluru, covering a distance of about 16,000 kilometers.
An all-women pilot team of Air India will be creating history by flying over the North Pole and covering a distance of about 16,000 kilometers. The flight led by Captain Zoya Aggarwal will be connecting the two biggest tech hubs in the world- India’s Silicon Valley Bengaluru and the original Silicon Valley in San Francisco. The flight will leave San Francisco at 2030 hours on 9th January and will arrive at Bengaluru at 0345 hours on 11th January.
Both the cities are located on two diametrically opposite ends of the Earth with a distance of 13,993 km between each other. The time zone change is approximately 13.5 hours and presents clear evidence of the large distance between two points.
The historical flight will be operated by an all-women crew comprising of Captain Zoya Aggarwal(P1), Captain Papagari Thanmai (P1), Captain Akansha Sonaware (P2), and Captain Shivani Manhas (P2). Although pilots from Air India have flown over this route earlier, it is the first time a crew of all-women will fly over the North Pole.
Captain Zoya Aggarwal will be leading this historical flight. She is a gifted airline pilot who has flying experience of more than 8,000 hours (333 days). Moreover, she has experience of more than 10 years with the B-77 aircraft with flying hours touching the 2,500 mark.
In her statement, Zoya spoke about her achievements and how women should possess self-belief. “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,” she said.
Speaking to news agency ANI Captain Zoya 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 the all-women’s crew she would be flying with, Zoya 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,”
“The thrill of actually realizing that you will be passing the North pole where the compass will flip 180 degrees…something which is fascinating indeed,” Captain Zoya added. With this flight, Captain Zoya will also create the record of being the first woman commander of Air India to command the flight over the North Pole.
According to an Air India official, the North Pole route is a challenging route with only the best pilots taking the stride.
“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.” the Air India official said.
After the news broke, Civil Aviation Minister lauded the captain and her crew by taking to Twitter.
Air India’s woman power flies high around the world.
All women cockpit crew consisting of Capt Zoya Aggarwal, Capt Papagari Thanmai, Capt Akansha Sonaware & Capt Shivani Manhas will operate the historic inaugural flight between Bengaluru & San Francisco.@airindiain @MoCA_GoI pic.twitter.com/HKT6IYo2Dw
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) January 9, 2021
Member of Parliament and notable speaker Shashi Tharoor too congratulated Air India and the entire cockpit crew of this historical flight.
Congratulations to Capt ZoyaSapraAgarwal & her all-women crew who will undertake @airIndiain‘s inaugural flight from Bengaluru to SanFrancisco! https://t.co/MsGpR6ZJia
This will be one of the world’s longest flights, connecting two Silicon Valleys in the US& India! Godspeed Zoya!
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 8, 2021