The plane was piloted by Captain Zoya Aggarwal, who was assisted by Captain Papgari Thanmai, Shivani Manhas, and Akanksha Sonaware

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The all-women crew of Air India’s longest direct flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru landed on Monday morning after covering a distance of 16,000 kilometres while flying over the North Pole.

The All-Women Air India cockpit crew, led by Captain Zoya Aggarwal, has set a new milestone in the history of the Indian aviation industry with the inaugural flight by crossing the North Pole and taking the Atlantic route to Karnataka capital at the other end of the world.

Air India’s AI-176, the longest direct flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru, landed at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport early on Monday. The flight covered a total distance of 16,000 kilometres, flying over the North Pole with an all-women cockpit crew.

The plane was piloted by Captain Zoya Aggarwal, who was assisted by Captain Papgari Thanmai, Shivani Manhas, and Akanksha Sonaware.

On Monday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri congratulated Air India’s all-women cockpit crew.

Captain Zoya Aggarwal said, “Today, we created world history by not only flying over the North Pole but also by having all women pilots who successfully did it. We are extremely happy and proud to be part of it. This route has saved 10 tonnes of fuel.”

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Air India too expressed its elation when it tweeted, “Imagine this: -All Women Cockpit Crew. -Longest flight into India. -Crossing the North Pole, it’s here & happening! Records broken. History in the making by AI176 from @flySFO to @BLRAirport. AI 176 is cruising at 30000 feet.

An Air India official said is the “longest commercial flight in the world” to be operated by it or any other airline in India, adding that the “total flight time on this route is more than 17 hours, depending on the wind speed on that particular day.”

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