NEW DELHI: An all-woman 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.
“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 particular day,” Air India said in a statement.
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, an Air India official said.
“Air India’s woman power flies high around the world,” Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri said on Twitter.
“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,” Puri said.
Air India’s woman power flies high around the world.All women cockpit crew consisting of Capt Zoya Aggarwal, Capt… https://t.co/Ut9Z4PCmow
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) 1610170364000
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 at 3.45 am (local time) on Monday.
“Captain Zoya Aggarwal is an accomplished pilot with a flying experience of more than 8000 hrs and command experience in a B-777 aircraft of more than 10 years and more than 2500 flying hours,” the national carrier said.
The flight will operate with a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft VT ALG with a seating capacity of 238 seats including 8 First Class, 35 Business Class,195 Economy class configuration besides four cockpit and 12 cabin crew, Air India said.