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The inaugural flight AI176 will reach Bengaluru at 3.45 am on 11 January. (Photo: Twitter @airindiain)

This is how all-women Air India crew breaks glass ceiling

They are flying the longest non-stop commercial flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru… And they are all women. Air India pilots. Ready to conquer the sky from the cockpit. An all-women cockpit crew made history taking off the inaugural flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri hailed them as they set out 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.

The four Indian pilots – Captain Zoya Aggarwal, Captain Papagari Thanmai, Captain Akanksha Sonawane, and Captain Shivani Manhas – became the first all-women crew to operate a flight over the North Pole connecting the two Silicon Valleys in the US and India.

Captain Zoya Agarwal, who is commanding the flight, spoke to media before the historical moment, she was excited along with her teammates. “Most people in the world will not see the North Pole or even its map in their lifetime. I feel truly privileged and humbled,” Captain Agarwal had told news agency ANI.

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Just ahead of the flight lifted off, Air India tweeted on Sunday, “And Countdown begins! Minutes away from take off of our nonstop flight from 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.”

The Air India flight will fly over the North Pole, taking the Atlantic route to reach Bengaluru. The inaugural flight AI176 departed from San Francisco in the USA at 8.30 pm (local time) on Saturday and it will land at the Kempegowda International Airport at 3.45 am (local time) on Monday. The aerial distance between San Francisco and Bengaluru is one of the longest in the world.

The all-women crew is flying a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, which will take more than 17 hours to reach Bengaluru, covering the aerial distance of approximately 13,993 kms. between the distance between the two tech cities.


  • Longest non-stop commercial flight operated by any airline
  • Air India flight between Bengalru to San Francisco
  • All Women Cockpit Crew
  • Captain Zoya Aggarwal, Captain Papagari Thanmai, Captain Akanksha Sonawane, and Captain Shivani Manhas.
  • Longest flight into India.
  • Crossing the North Pole

These four Indian women have not only created a history but they have also broken the internet with praise pouring from all corners for them.

“Congratulations Air India on the inaugural flight! We are pleased to welcome @airindiain’s first-ever nonstop flight between San Francisco and @BLRAirport Bangalore (Bengaluru), India! The new service represents the only nonstop flights between the United States and Bengaluru,” San Francisco International airport tweeted.

“Best wishes to this all-star team of pilot women on an unprecedented endeavor in air travel. You have made us proud. Blessings,” tweeted popular yoga guru Sadhguru.

“Congratulations to Capt ZoyaSapraAgarwal & her all-women crew,”Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted.