On Monday, January 11, Air India's longest non-stop flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru landed with an all-woman crew on board. Flight AI-176 landed at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru with the crew receiving immense appreciation from a huge crowd that was waiting for them at the airport.
Air India had earlier said that this would be the longest commercial flight in the world to be operated by it or any other airline in the country. Amidst the cheers, the four women- Captain Zoya Aggarwal, Captain Papagiri Thanmai, Captain Akansha Sonaware, and Captain Shivani Manhas responded by giving a thumbs-up sign to the crowd.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the women were received at the airport by the Air India team members which had put out a banner reading, "A warm welcome to our guests on the inaugural flight of AI-176, January 11, 2021- San Francisco to Bengaluru."
The Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, also congratulated the all-women crew for their professionalism and determination on Twitter.
Air India too greeted the crew members by tweeting: "Welcome Home Capt Zoya Agarwal, Capt Papagari Thanmei, Capt Akanksha & Capt Shivani after completing a landmark journey with touchdown @BLRAirport. Kudos for making Air India proud. We also congratulate passengers of AI176 for being part of this historic moment."
Authorities at the San Francisco Airport also rejoiced at their achievement. They tweeted by saying, "Congratulations @airindiain on a historic flight! Flight AI176 was piloted by an all-female cockpit crew for the landmark journey from #SFO over the North Pole to @BLRAirport."
Air India's flight AI-176 departed from San Francisco in the USA at around 8:30 pm (local time) on Saturday and landed at the Kempegowda International Airport at around 3:45 a.m. (local time) on Monday.