To mark “International Women’s Day”, the Indian national carrier ‘Air India’ successfully landed the world’s longest 100% women operated flight from India Gandhi International Airport in Delhi to the San Francisco International Airport in California, on Monday, 6 March 2016.
Captain Kshamta Bajpayee and captain Shubhangi Singh along with First Officers Ramya Kirti Gupta and Captain Amrit Namdhari pose ahead of their flight at a function in New Delhi.
Captain Kshamta Bajpayee and Capt Shubhangi Singh along with
First Officers Ramya Kirti Gupta and Capt Amrit Namdhari
According to the airlines, the Air India flight AI 173 to San Francisco traveled close to 14,500 kilometres for a continuous 17 hours to mark the International Women’s Day. The non-stop flight took off from Delhi on March 6. Air India said in a press release: “This year for the first time, on the world’s longest non-stop flight, entire flight operations from cockpit crew to cabin crew, check-in staff, doctor, customer care staff, ATC (air traffic control) and the entire ground-handling… were handled by women.”
Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani said the airliner has made history as this is “the longest operated by all-women crew”. He added, “the airline has immense respect for women and it is a symbol of women empowerment.” Before taking off from Delhi, Captain Ramya Kirti Gupta said, “It’s a proud moment. It’s a 17-hour flight that we are taking, covering 14,600 km with a ground speed of 1200 km. per hour.”
Captain Shubhangi Singh said, “You need to work hard. There is no shortcut to success. I come from a modest family and without any aviation background. I am overwhelmed to be a part of an all-women crew in the history of aviation. It’s a long flight covering various countries; there are several procedures that we’d have to keep in mind.”
The flight AI 173 was commanded by Captain Kshamta Bajpayee and Captain Shubhangi Singh, along with First Officers Ramya Kirti Gupta and Amrit Namdhari. Air India currently has a total of 3,800 women employees, which includes pilots, cabin crew, engineers, technicians, doctors, security personnel and executives.