The historic flight with an all-women crew operating Air India's longest flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru successfully landed today in the city. The journey set a new record of an all-women cockpit crew flying the longest distance over the North pole.
Flight AI-176 landed at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, and was received by an elated crowd at the airport lounge.
Amid the cheers and clapping, the four women -- Captain Zoya Aggarwal, Captain Papagari Thanmai, Captain Akansha Sonaware and Captain Shivani Manhas -- responded by showing a thumbs-up sign.
Sporting a black uniform and donning the Air India's cap, the women were received at the airport by the Air India team members which had put out a banner reading, "A warm welcome to our guests on the inaugural flight of AI 176, January 11, 2021 -- San Francisco to Bengaluru."
Air India had said earlier this will be the longest commercial flight in the world to be operated by it or any other airline in India.
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.
Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted, "In a moment to cherish & celebrate, women professionals of Indian civil aviation create history. Heartiest Congratulations to Capt Zoya Aggarwal, Capt Papagari Thanmai, Capt Akansha Sonaware & Capt Shivani for flying over North Pole to land in Bengaluru from San Francisco."
In a moment to cherish & celebrate, women professionals of Indian civil aviation create history.
Heartiest Congratulations to Capt Zoya Aggarwal, Capt Papagari Thanmai, Capt Akansha Sonaware & Capt Shivani for flying over North Pole to land in Bengaluru from San Francisco. pic.twitter.com/P6EvJChMGB— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) January 11, 2021
Air India too greeted the crew members by tweeting: "Welcome Home Capt Zoya Agarwal, Capt Papagari Thanmei, Capt Akanksha & Capt Shivani after completing a landmark journey with touchdown @BLRAirport. Kudos for making Air India proud. We also congratulate passengers of AI176 for being part of this historic moment."
Kudos for making Air India proud.
We also congratulate passengers of AI176 for being part of this historic moment. pic.twitter.com/UFUjvvG01h— Air India (@airindiain) January 10, 2021
The San Francisco Airport authorities too rejoiced in the success.
They tweeted, "Congratulations @airindiain on a historic flight! Flight AI176 was piloted by an all female cockpit crew for the landmark journey from #SFO over the North Pole to @BLRAirport."
Flight AI176 departed from San Francisco in the USA at around 8.30 pm (local time) on Saturday and landed at the Kempegowda International Airport at around 3.45 am (local time) on Monday.
The total flight time on this route will be more than 17 hours depending on the wind speed on that particular day, it had said in a statement on the eve of the historic flight.
With PTI inputs