Bengaluru: The all-women pilot team from Air India scripted history as they flew over the North Pole, covering a distance of about 16, 000 kilometres. The four women pilots landed at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru from San Francisco.
The flight departed from San Francisco in the United States of India at 8.30 PM (local time) and landed at Bengaluru Airport at 3.45 AM (local time).
The flight commander, Captain Zoya Agarwal said that they created history today, not only by flying over the North Pole, but also, successfully doing it with all women pilots team. The new route has saved 10 tonnes of fuel.
Air India welcomed the captains through a tweet. It further congratulated the passengers of AI176, for being a part of this historic moment.
The flight commander, Agarwal felt privileged to fly over the North Pole, which will not be seen by many, and even its map in their lifetime. She called it a golden opportunity to command a Boeing 777 inaugural SFO-BLR, which is one of the world's longest flight over the North Pole.
Captain Agarwal further talked about the team she flew with over the North Pole. She said she was "extremely proud" to have experienced women in the team, which includes, Captains Thanmai Papagari, Akanksha Sonawane and Shivani Manhas. This was a moment in history as an all-women pilot team flew over the North Pole for the very first time. Agarwal said that flying over the North Pole is a "dream come true" for any professional pilot.
Prior to this, Captain Agarwal also achieved the feat of becoming the youngest woman to ever fly a Boeing-77, in the year 2013. An official from Air India said that the journey over the North Pole is very difficult, that is why the airline companies send the best ones to fly over the North Pole. This time the responsibility is given to a woman pilot to fly from San Francisco to Bengaluru via polar route.
Not only the first all-women pilot team to fly over the North Pole, but Captain Agarwal will also become the first woman of the airline to command flight over the North Pole.