Bengaluru

All-woman cockpit crew to fly inaugural San Francisco-Bengaluru flight

Captain Zoya Aggarwal  

An all-woman cockpit crew will fly into Indian aviation history on Saturday when it operates the inaugural San Francisco-Bengaluru flight, going over the North Pole and taking the Atlantic route to reach the Karnataka capital at the other end of the world.

 

“This will be the longest commercial flight in the world to be operated by Air India or any other airline in India...The total flight time on this route will be of more than 17 hours depending on the wind speed on that particular day,” Air India said in a statement. The direct distance between the two cities at opposite ends of the world is 13,993 km, with a time zone change of around 13.5 hours, an Air India official said.

 

“Air India’s woman power flies high around the world,” Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri said on Twitter.

 

“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,” Mr. Puri said.

 

Flight AI176 will depart from San Francisco in the U.S. at 8.30 p.m. (local time) on Saturday, and land at the Kempegowda International Airport at 3.45 a.m. (local time) on Monday. “Captain Zoya Aggarwal is an accomplished pilot with a flying experience of more than 8000 hrs and command experience in a B-777 aircraft of more than 10 years and more than 2500 flying hours,” the national carrier said.

 

The flight will operate with a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft VT ALG with a seating capacity of 238 seats, including eight First Class, 35 Business Class, 195 Economy class configuration, besides four cockpit and 12 cabin crew, Air India said.

Almost fully booked

The first ever direct flight between the two tech hubs is almost fully booked — 225 out of 238 seats — despite the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns over air travel.

 

The flight, which has long been in the pipeline, will be the first direct non-stop flight between the west coast of the United States and southern India. Given the significant population of south Indians in San Francisco, home to the Silicon Valley, a direct flight has been a long-pending demand.

 

The biweekly flight will take off to San Francisco from Bengaluru on Mondays and Thursdays, and leave San Francisco for Bengaluru on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

(With inputs from the Bengaluru bureau.)


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 1:52:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/air-india-women-pilots-set-to-script-history/article33532161.ece

Next Story