MIAMI – Four women Pilots will make history today by flying Air India’s (AI) inaugural flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Kempegowda International Airport (BLR).

The 17-hour-long route, covering a distance of 9,942mi (16,000km), will be AI’s longest nonstop flight. It will take the Pilots directly over the North Pole, making them the first all-female Crew to operate a flight over that region.

Captain Zoya Agarwal, who will command the flight, is eager to be a part of history. “Most people in the world will not see the North Pole or even its map in their lifetime,” she says. “I feel truly feel privileged and humbled by the trust posed in me by the civil aviation ministry and our flag carrier. This is the first time an all-women Pilots team will fly over the North Pole and create a history of sorts.”

Additionally, Captain Agarwal will be the youngest Pilot on board the flight. She is “extremely proud” to have an “experienced women team” flying with her. The other Pilots, who are also Captains, include Thanmai Papagari, Akanksha Sonawane, and Shivani Manhas. They are all type-rated on the Boeing 777, which is the aircraft they will be operating.

Captain Zoya Agarwal at the controls of the Boeing 777. Photo: ANI News

All Tickets Sold Out


According to an AI spokesperson, the SFO – BLR inaugural flight has been “completely sold out”. The airline will continue operating direct flights twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays. Flights will be served by a Boeing 777-200LR fitted with 238 seats in a 3-class configuration. The new service was initially announced back in November.

“We are truly honored to be the first airport in the United States to offer nonstop flights to Bengaluru. This service links two great centers of technology and innovation and strengthens the cherished relationship between San Francisco and Bengaluru. We thank Air India for their strong commitment to San Francisco for this latest service,” comments Ivar Satero, Director of SFO.


Featured image: Air India Boeing 777-300ER. Photo: Max Langley