Women, today, are creating wonders on land as well as in the skies. An all-women pilot team of national carrier Air India is ready to embark on creating a new history by flying over the North Pole from San Francisco to Bengaluru, covering a distance of about 16,000 kilometres.
As per reports, it is not the first time when the national carrier will be flying over the polar region but no all-women team have had ever flow the aircraft on the same route earlier.
Tagging Air India and the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter, appreciating the news, "Air India's woman power flies high around the world. All women cockpit crew consisting of Capt Zoya Aggarwal, Capt Papagari Thanmai, Capt Akansha Sonaware and Capt Shivani Manhas will operate the historic inaugural flight between Bengaluru and San Francisco."
World's longest commercial flight
The flight, AI 176, is scheduled to leave from San Francisco at 20:30 hours (local time) on January 9 and arrive at Bengaluru at 03:45 hours on January 11.
Aviation experts believe that the non-stop flight, which is described to the longest commercial flight in the world to be operated by the national carrier or any other Indian airline, is extremely technical and requires skill and experience.
"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 India.com.
"We are pleased to welcome @airindiain's first-ever nonstop flights between San Francisco and Bangalore (Bengaluru), India! This new service represents the only nonstop flights between the United States and Bengaluru," the San Francisco International Airport said on its official Twitter account.
"In 2009, the City of San Francisco established a sister city relationship with Bengaluru, the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka, as well the country's 5th largest city. Known as "the Silicon Valley of India" Bengaluru accounts for more than 35 per cent of India's software exports," it added.
In addition to the new Bangalore Airport service, Air India will also offer five non-stop flights per week between San Francisco and Delhi Airport. This route was launched in December 2015 and marks the first nonstop flights between India and the United States' West Coast, according to the airport's social media account.
Connecting of both worlds
Reports have further stated that the service will be provided through an AI Boeing 777-200LR aircraft VT ALG, with a seating capacity for 238 passengers, including eight first-class, 35 business class,195 economy class configuration, besides four cockpits and 12 cabin crew.
The all-women's team will be led by Captain Zoya Agarwal, who is an accomplished pilot with a flying experience of more than 8,000 flying hours. Being the youngest woman pilot, Agarwal also has command experience in a B-777 aircraft of more than 10 years and more than 2,500 flying hours.
Narrating her experience to India.com, the Captain said, "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."
The distance between Bengaluru and San Francisco is approximately 13,993 kilometres and the two cities are located at diametrically opposite ends of the world with a time zone change of approximately 13.5 hours.
The total flight time on this route is expected to be more than 17 hours, depending on the wind speed.
The particular route for this flight, covering the polar region, is also said to be the safest, fastest and most economical among others.