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Air India Makes History with All-Female Crew

History is being made in the world of aviation.

Back in 1920, Amelia Earhart went on her first flight and declared, “As soon as we left the ground, I knew I myself had to fly.” Earhart set many records for women in the world of aviation, like when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928.

Now, almost ninety years later, a group of women from Air India is making headlines for becoming the first all-female crew to fly around the world.

The flight AI 174 took place in March, just before International Women’s Day. The plane traveled over the Pacific Ocean from New Delhi to San Francisco, and then across the Atlantic Ocean and back to New Delhi.

In a Facebook statement from Air India’s page, the airline said, “AI 174 touched down Delhi this evening adding yet another feather to Air India’s cap in its constant endeavor to encourage women. The flight AI 173 had earlier taken off from IGI Airport in New Delhi on 27th February to San Francisco covering a distance of around 15300 km in 15 and a half hours over the Pacific route and on the return journey from San Francisco over the Atlantic.”

It was not even just the cabin and cockpit crews that were composed of women. Everyone who played a part in the flight was a woman, from the air-traffic controllers to the on-flight doctor to the engineers who certified the aircraft.

Air India’s Facebook page said in the statement, “The entire flight was operated by the women staff of eight departments. These departments included Cockpit crew, Cabin crew, Check-In staff, Doctor, Customer Care Staff, ATC and the entire ground handling from operator to technician, engineer and flight dispatcher and trimmer.”

This is not the first time that Air India has made big steps for women. Earlier this year, in response to a number of complaints from women who had reported being groped by male passengers, the airline designated seats on its flights for just women. This marked a huge step for women in India, where sexual assault is a major problem.

The airline announced this policy change on its website, stating, “Air India has decided to reserve seats in an entire row, namely the third row, in Economy Class on its Domestic Flights for women passengers who wish to travel alone. These special seats, which can be availed by such women passengers, will come at no extra cost.”

Women have come a long way in the world of aviation. Women of Aviation Week reported that in 1960 only one in 21,417 women held an “other-than-student” pilot certificate. By 1980 that number became one in 4,224.

Air India’s around-the-world trip with an all-female crew proves that the sky’s the limit for women!

Featured Image by Roderick Eime on Flickr

Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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