The record-breaking Air India Flight AI-176 originated from San Francisco has successfully landed at Bengaluru International Airport. The flight has shattered many national and international records. It is the first Indian flight to undertake a non-stop 17-hour journey, the longest commercial flight by any Indian airline and also the first Indian flight to be operated by all-woman crew flying over the North Pole.
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).” 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.
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
As per the air carrier, the total flight time on this route was estimated to be more than 17 hours depending on the wind speed on. However, Air India flight completed the journey well before time in 16.5 hours, making it the longest commercial flight in the world to be operated by Air India or any other airline in India.
The carrier operated a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft VT ALG with a seating capacity of 238 seats including 8 first class, 35 business class, 195 economy class configurations, besides 4 cockpit and 12 cabin crew. The aircraft also passed over the polar region to reach the destination, starting its journey from the west coast in the US.
“Air India is engaging an all women cockpit crew for this flight. Air India has the highest women employee ratio for an airline in the world. Capt Nivedita Bhasin, Executive Director (Flight Safety), Air India, is also traveling on this flight,” the statement said.
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.