Air India has made history by completing its first ever around-the-world flight run entirely by an all-woman crew.
The plane travelled from Delhi to San Francisco and everyone involved was female - from the captain to the ground crew and check-in staff.
The airline has applied for a Guinness World Record and now plans to operate similar flights as a way of celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th.Even the bag handlers and air traffic control dispatchers were women - as well as the customer care staff.
Air India had pledged to boost recruitment of female staff with numbers at the airline rocketing to 20 per cent this year from as little as five per cent in the past.
But the numbers in India are well above the global average - with just one in 33 pilots around the world being a woman.The Boeing 777-200LR plane covered a distance of about 9,500 miles in 15-and-a-half hours and was captained by Kshamata Bajpayee.
She said: ‘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.
‘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.’
She continued: ‘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.’It comes just days after two women made airline history for a different reason after becoming the first two black female pilots to fly together in a cockpit.
First Officer Dawn Cook contacted Stephanie Johnson after learning she would be flying out of Detroit on Sunday last week for Delta Airlines.The two pilots then organised the historic flight and posed for beaming selfies.