Air India's first non-stop service between San Francisco and Bengaluru started today. The flight connecting two tech hubs is being operated by all-women cockpit crew.
According to a statement issued by Air India, "The flight will be operated by an all women cockpit crew of Capt Zoya Aggarwal (P1), Capt Papagari Thanmai (P1), Capt Akansha Sonaware (P2) and Capt Shivani Manhas (P2)."
The day after announcing that an all-women cockpit crew will operate the inaugural flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday, once again, hailed them as they took off for their destination.
"Way to go girls! Professional, qualified & confident, the all-women cockpit crew takes off from San Francisco to Bengaluru on Air India flight to fly over North Pole. Our Nari Shakti achieves a historic first," the Minister tweeted.
Air India on Sunday tweeted, "And Countdown begins! Minutes away from take off of our nonstop flight frm San Fransisco - Bengaluru. Air India set to script history as all women cockpit crew rolls out AI176 on its record-making around the world voyage, possibly charting the Polar route from SFO to BLR."
Notably, the direct distance between Bengaluru and San Francisco is approximately 13,993 km and the cities are diametrically at opposite ends of the world with a time zone change of about 13.5 hours.
The flight left San Francisco at 2030 hrs (IST) on January 9 and it will arrive at Bengaluru at 0345 hrs (IST) on January 11.
At present, Air India operates non-stop flights from Delhi to New York, Newark, Washington DC, San Francisco and Chicago and from Mumbai to Newark and New York.
In addition, the airline plans to start its first-ever non-stop service between Hyderabad and Chicago from January 15.
(With inputs from agencies)