An all-women pilot team of Air India script history becoming the first only-women pilots' team to fly the national carrier over the North Pole. The all-women crew led by Captain Zoya Aggarwal flew from San Francisco via the north pole to land at Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport early on Monday. The crew covered a massive distance of 16,000 km in 17 hours, the longest commercial flight over the north pole. The four pilot crew cruised at 30,000 feet to achieve this historical milestone while flying the Boeing 777 that was the inaugural San Francisco-Bengaluru flight.
"Right from the time we took off from San Francisco, they knew it was a special flight. We kept on getting direct routings. There were so many countries which usually do not give direct routings but they gave us direct routings. Also when we entered India the feeling was so electric. I could feel the energy from the voice of the controllers and I was so happy to feel that the whole country and the entire world was behind you," ecstatic with the achievement, Captain Zoya Aggarwal said.
However, this is not the first time that Captain Zoya has done something extraordinary. In 2013, she became the youngest woman commander in the world to fly a Boeing-777.
Flying over the North Pole is extremely technical, as per aviation experts with the compass flipping 180 degrees in the region. While Air India has flown over the polar route, it is for the first time that a team of women pilots undertook the journey over the North Pole.
Lauding the historic feat, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter to congratulate the all-women crews consisting of Captain Zoya Aggarwal, Captain Thanmai Papagari, Captain Akansha Sonaware & Captain Shivani Manhas.
In a moment to cherish & celebrate, women professionals of Indian civil aviation create history.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) January 11, 2021
Heartiest Congratulations to Capt Zoya Aggarwal, Capt Papagari Thanmai, Capt Akansha Sonaware & Capt Shivani for flying over North Pole to land in Bengaluru from San Francisco. pic.twitter.com/P6EvJChMGB