An Air India flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru with an all-women cockpit crew made a successful landing at Kempegowda International Airport here on Monday.
It was the first ever non-stop service between two destinations.
The flight (Boeing 777-200LR), after 17 hours journey reached at KIA at 03.06 a.m. A total of 288 passengers arrived in the first flight.
The flight was operated by Capt Zoya Aggarwal , Capt Papagari Thanmai, Capt Akansha Sonaware and Capt Shivani Manhas.
Speaking to The Hindu , Capt Papagari Thanmai said, “It was an amazing experience. We are very thankful for the opportunity given. A lot planning and preparation had gone prior to starting the journey. We have got warmest of welcome right from we began at San Francisco and after landing at Bengaluru. Passengers were very happy. It was going to be over the pole and it was a direct flight to Bengaluru, which they were looking forward to for a long time. Having a direct flight in the time pandemic is safe for passengers and also it saves a lot time as there are no stop over.”
She further said that some of the passengers took pictures with the crew and also gave appreciation letters. “Passengers were quite well informed about the flight; in fact some of the passengers specifically booked tickets in flight. We received a warm response from the passengers when the flight entered the polar region,” she said.
The direct distance between Bengaluru and San Francisco is 13,993 km approx. and the cities are diametrically at opposite ends of the world with a time zone change of approx.13.5 hours.
Appreciating the crew, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted: "A moment to cherish and celebrate, women professionals of Indian civil aviation create history."