With four women pilots, Air India’s longest direct route flight landed at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru from San Francisco, flying over the North Pole and covering a distance of about 16,000 kilometres.
The flight number AI176 left San Francisco on Saturday at 8.30 PM (local time) and arrived at 3.45 AM on Monday.
The Boeing 777L (reg. VT-ALG) took off at 05:02UTC from SFO and landed more thna 17 hours later in Bangalore. It flew at 470 kts right over the North Pole, cruising at FL300.
Members of the crew are: Captain Zoya Aggarwal, Captain Papagari Thanmai, Captain Akansha Sonaware and Captain Shivani Manhas.
Speaking to media, Captain Zoya Aggarwal said,”Today, we created world history by not only flying over the North Pole but also by having all women pilots who successfully did it. We are extremely happy and proud to be part of it. This route has saved 10 tonnes of fuel.”
”It was an exciting experience since it was never done before. It took almost 17 hours to reach here,” Shivani Manhas, one of the four pilots who operated Air India’s inaugural San Francisco-Bengaluru flight said.
Air India also tweeted, “Imagine this : -All Women Cockpit Crew. -Longest flight into India. -Crossing the North Pole It”s here & happening! Records broken. History in the making by AI176 from SFO to BLR. AI 176 is cruising at 30000 feet.