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.
The airline hopes to encourage more women pilots to sign up, such as the crew (pictured) who flew on the journey from Delhi to San Francisco
At a press conference celebrating the journey some of the crew were pictured combining their traditional sari outfits with the hats worn by airline captains
Captain Kshamta Bajpayee (right) said the flight is a ‘symbol of women empowerment’. Here she is pictured along with Captain Sunita Narula, Capt Indira Singh and Capt Gunjan Aggarwal
Captain Kshamta Bajpayee, pictured second from left, added: ‘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.’
Crew members from the 15-and-a-half hour flight are pictured celebrating the journey. Airline bosses have applied for a Guinness World Record after the round-the-world flight
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.
Captain Kshamta Bajpayee, pictured left, with one of her co-pilots in the cockpit. All of the staff involved in the flight – from the ground crew to the air traffic control dispatchers – were women
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.
The Boeing 777-200LR plane, similar to the one pictured above, covered a distance of about 9,500 miles in 15-and-a-half hours
‘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.
First Officer Dawn Cook, right, reached out to fellow pilot Stephanie Johnson, left, after learning she would be flying out of Detroit last Sunday. The two organised the historic flight and posed for beaming selfies
The two pilots then organised the historic flight and posed for beaming selfies.
Johnson is also the first black female captain for Delta and had previously been interviewed by the airline as part of their ‘Very Own Heroes’ series during Black History Month.
She told Delta News Hub: ‘There were no pilots in my life growing up, and I think I’m the first person in my family to graduate from college.
‘But for as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with airplanes and would think, ‘What a great thing it would be to know how to fly.”
The women made history this week at Delta Airlines after being the first two black female pilots to fly together in a cockpit
The two, pictured, posed for selfies on the historic day and posted the photos on Facebook
Johnson said that taking off on a plane for the first time the thrill of her life.
She also became the first female African-American pilot for Northwest Airlines in 1997.
Johnson continued: ‘I feel a great sense of responsibility to be a positive role model.
‘There are so few women in this profession and too many women who still don’t think of it as a career option,’
‘Today is very different, and though there are still people to inform, I am so thankful that the word is out. This is a great career – it’s worth the hard work.’