An all-women pilot team of Air India is all set to script history becoming the first only-women pilots' team to fly the national carrier over the North Pole. Taking the world's longest and most challenging air route, Air India has given the responsibility to Captain Zoya Agarwal to cover the journey from San Fransico to Bengaluru via the polar route on January 9.
"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 Fransico to Bengaluru via polar route," an Air India official said.
While speaking to news agency ANI, Air India Captain Zoya Agarwal, who will be commanding the flight said that she felt truly 'privileged and humbled' to be flying the national carrier and thanked the Civil Aviation Ministry for giving her this opportunity. "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," Captain Zoya Agarwal told ANI.
"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 added.
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. "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.
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, this is the first time a team of women pilots will fly over the North Pole.