New Delhi: An all-women pilot team of Air India will be flying over the North Pole covering one of the largest air-route. The flight will commence from San Francisco in the United States, will be landing in Bengaluru on January 9, and will be covering over 16,000 km in a single leg. “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 Francisco to Bengaluru via polar route,” an Air India official said.
The flight which will be operated on the Boeing 777 aircraft, will be headed by flight captain Zoya Agarwal, and her team is very eagerly waiting to create history on January 9.
“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,” Captain Zoya Agarwal told new agency ANI.
“I am extremely proud to have with me experienced women team comprising Captains Thanmai Papagari, Akanksha Sonawane and Shivani Manhas. This is the first time an all-women pilots’ team will fly over the North Pole and create a history of sorts. It’s indeed a dream come true for any professional pilot,” she added.
Meanwhile, aviation experts suggest that flying over the North Pole is extremely technical and requires skill and experience.
“The thrill of actually realizing that you will be passing the North pole where the compass will flip 180 degrees…something which is fascinating indeed,” Captain Zoya said. This will be Zoya’s second-longest flight as she first flew on the same route as the youngest Boeing 777 pilot back in 2013.
“I am the youngest woman commander in the world on Boeing 777. Women should have self-belief even if they face societal pressure not consider any task impossible,” she said. After the flight, Agarwal will become the first woman flight commander of Air India to fly over the North Pole.
Even though Air India pilots have flown over the polar route earlier also, it is for the first time a team of women pilots will fly over the North Pole.