New page in history as Air India jets out with all-women crew

Last month, Air India introduced women-only seats on domestic routes. Pic: Wikimedia Commons

AIR INDIA makes history by sending an all-female crew on a round-trip journey from New Delhi to San Francisco.

The flight’s entire crew of pilots, flight attendants, check-in and ground handling staff, engineers who certified the aircraft, and air traffic controllers who authorized the departure and arrival were all women, the airline said.

The airline also claims this is the first time in the world an all-women crew operated an around-the-world journey, and an application for an entry in the Guinness World Record has been put in.

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Helmed by Captain Kshamata Bajpayee, the Boeing 777 flight covered an impressive distance of 15,300km over 15.5 hours, and flew across the Pacific Ocean while its return route circled the Atlantic.

Bajpayee said the feat was a symbol to show the world every male-dominated function can be safely and efficiently carried out by women.

In conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8, India’s flag carrier will continue to carry out all-women flights to various destinations around the world.

Last month, Air India made news by introducing women-only seats on domestic routes, said to offer women more “choice and comfort”.

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The seats, offered at no extra cost to women, were introduced amid reports of in-flight sexual harassment.

Reports of inappropriate behavior on the state-owned carrier have been brought to attention recently, and in some cases, victims have taken to social media to post videos and photos of their perpetrators.

While India is increasingly progressive in many ways, its patriarchal society remains a challenge for women. In 2015, the nation rated 130 out of 188 countries in the UN’s Gender Inequality Index.