All Women Crew Land in Bengaluru After Historic 17-Hr-Long Flight
Depending on the route it takes, the flight may also traverse 16,000 kilometres.
An all-women team on Saturday, 9 January, piloted the longest non-stop commercial flight from the United States to India. This feat is set to create history, as the inaugural flight left San Francisco on Saturday at 8.30 pm (local time). It went over the North Pole and took the Atlantic route to Bengaluru. The flight landed at Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport at 3:45 am (local time) on Monday, 11 January.
The Air India flight in question was the first direct non-stop flight between the United States and southern India. It is reportedly being operated on a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft and it flew for over 17 hours from San Francisco to Bengaluru, traversing approximately 16,000 kilometers, reported ANI.
“Today, we created world history by not only flying over the North Pole but also by having all women pilots who successfully did it. We are extremely happy and proud to be part of it. This route has saved 10 tonnes of fuel,”Captain Zoya Aggarwal, who is the lead pilot on the flight told ANI after landing.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri celebrated the women’s historical achievement and tweeted, "Air India's woman power flies high around the world, our Nari Shakti achieves a historic first.”
Congress’ Rahul Gandhi also took to twitter to congratulate the all-women cockpit crew and said they ‘made the country proud’.
Captain Zoya Aggarwal, reportedly told NDTV before boarding the flight,
“It’s 16,000-odd km. So, we are looking at world’s longest flight and, yes, we are going to try and fly the polar route (over the North Pole). However, it depends on a multitude of factors like solar radiations and the turbulence. So, we are going to sit tight and hope that we will go polar and break all sorts of records.”
Air India Executive Director of Flight Safety, Captain Nivedita Bhasin was also onboard, reported NDTV, citing a statement from Air India.
(With inputs from NDTV and ANI)
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