SAN FRANCISCO, CA: To celebrate International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8, Air India, the country’s national carrier airline, on February 26 operated the longest all-women crew flight from New Delhi to San Francisco. Said to be a first-of-its-kind flight, the 16-hour long flight had an all women staff including cabin crew, cockpit crew, doctor, customer care staff and also the ground staff.
A team of four pilots and 12 cabin crew were on board the Boeing 777-LR that departed Delhi early on February 26. The flight had over 225 passengers including 30 infants, which travelled a distance of around 14,500 kilometer in close to 16 hours. It was operated as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.
The all-women crew led by Captain Kshamta Bajpayee along with Captain Sunita Narula, Capt Indira Singh and Capt Gunjan Aggarwal. An event was hosted by Air India at Le Meridien, San Francisco CA on Feb 27 to felicitate the crew and their achievement. The cabin crew along with models walked the ramp and set the stage on fire.
The event was attended by Mr. Venkat Raman, Consul, Consulate of India, Mr. Pradip Yadav, Head of Chancery, Consulate General of India, Ms. Melisa Andretta, Director, International Marketing & Aviation, Mr. Jeff Hoglind, Manager,- International Aviation development, Mr. Antony Mira, Director, TSA, SFO Intl airport, Ms. Robin Brown, Brand Manager – SFO Marketing, Mr. Pradeep Ganatra, Manager-West Coast, Mr.Neelaj Sharma, District Sales Manager, Air India officials, travel patrons and media. The entertainment quotient of the evening was conceptualized by Women Now TV.
Captain Kshamata Bajpayee said, “Air India was the first carrier in the world to operate an all-women crew in 1985. I am truly blessed to be part of the Air India family. Only when you wish can you be granted that wish. Only when you dream can that dream come true, it has come true for me”.
The flight is a symbol of women empowerment and it will encourage women to step out of their comfort zone and succeed in male-dominated arenas too, said Capt Sunita Narula.
“The entire message is actually to encourage young girls who have dreams of getting into the skies and they feel it’s too technical or this is something only men do. This flight is a symbol that every single male-dominated function can be carried out by women safely and efficiently”, says the whole crew in one chord.
Air India’s mission to make women self-reliant forms a core facet of the national carrier’s corporate responsibility towards its women employees and reflects the “Truly Indian” tradition of showing respect to women. Air India was the first carrier in the world to operate an all-women crew in 1985.
The state-run airline has around 3,800 women workforce of the total 27,500 people with 20,500 of them regular. Every year Air India operates all-women flights to celebrate the International Women’s Day. This year they operated 18 flights with all women crews in both domestic and international routes.
India Post News Service