New Delhi, January 9
An all-women 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.
In a statement, the national carrier said, “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 day.”
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, a senior Air India official said.
Later in one of his Twitter posts Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said, “Air India’s woman power flies high around the world.”
He added: “The 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.” Flight AI176 will depart from San Francisco in the USA at 8.30 pm (local time) on Saturday and land at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru at 3.45 am (local time) on Monday.
“Capt Aggarwal is an accomplished pilot with a flying experience of more than 8,000 hours ,” Air India said.
The flight will operate with a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft VT ALG with a seating capacity of 238 seats. — TNS