“On January 11, an all-women crew of Air India flew over the North Pole on the world’s longest air route to cover a distance of about 16,000 Kms.
I was one of the co-pilots on the Boeing-777 plane, which was used for this historic flight. Intially, I didn’t realise that this is going to be such a huge deal and a new chapter in aviation history. Us
Polar region is very inhospitable and inaccessible, so we underwent a lot of training to fly over such a region. Temperature can drop really low upto -60°C, fuel can freeze and the machine can have issues due to such climatic conditions. We had to be prepared for the emergency situations. In case of an emergency, we knew that we won’t have many airports to divert to and in case we land, we will have to land in extreme low temperature.
So, we finally flew Boeing-777, ultra long haul aircraft. This particular flight was 17.5 hours long, which was the longest flight possible. Our crew was excited as we were all going to set world records and create history of all kinds.
We were so high on adrenaline that we were ready to overcome all the challenges that came our way. As we flew from San Francisco to Bengaluru, over the North Pole, we witnessed the beautiful Northern Lights and the sky looked spectacular.
Finally, when we were about to reach our destination, we started getting messages through the satellite phones and the Satcoms from our company congratulating us.
We were thrilled to receive appreciation letters from the passengers. Some passengers had booked the tickets just to be a part of this particular flight and to be a part of the history. When we reached the airport, some passengers were waiting just to get the glimpse of the crew or to just capture the moment with us.
‘Bharat Ki Betiyaan’ proved their mettle yet again. It’s time to teach men to learn to live with empowered women because I think that’s where the confict is. Men need to okay with living around strong, independent and powerful women.
To all the young girls out there- Never try to underestimate yourself and never believe that you’re not good enough.
Jai Hind!” said Capt. Shivani Manhas