Air India creates history with 22 all-women flights

Marking International Women’s Day, India’s national carrier Air India created history when at a little past midnight earlier today, the first all-women crew performed an ultra long-haul B777-200LR non-stop flight from Mumbai to New York. AI 141 was the first of the 22 all-women crew flights operated by Air India across its domestic and international network.

Women form a core part of Air India personnel and not just the cabin crew or even the flight crew. While 136 women are pilots, women constitute nearly 19 per cent of the total workforce of Air India and the airline ensured the “all-women” flights were truly “all women”.

Mr Madhavan Nambiar, Secretary, Civil Aviation, Government of India
flagging off the historic all women ULH flight AI 141 at Mumbai Airport.

Capt. Rashmi Miranda and Capt. Sunita Narula were the Commanders on the Mumbai–New York flight AI 141, along with Capt. Swati Rawal and Capt. Neha Kulkarni as First Officers. Mrs Harpreet Singh, Head–QMS carried out a Line Observation Safety Audit. The flight was despatched by Ms. Nandita Deshpande and the load and trim Sheet was prepared by Ms. Ferzin Kuruvilla.

Air India all women crew also operated five other flights on international sectors. The Airbus A330 flight AI 801, Mumbai–Jeddah, operated by Capt. M Bedi and Capt. Sonia, the Airbus A310 flights AI 815/816 on the Hyderabad–Dammam–Chennai sectors flown by Capt. Trisha Mohan and Capt. Thanmai Papagari, and flights IC 573/574 on the Chennai–Colombo– Chennai route operated by Capt. Deepa and Capt. Sonia Jain.

Western Region had three flights – IC 686/IC 614 (Mumbai–Ahmedabad–Mumbai), IC 105/IC 106 (Mumbai–Bangalore–Mumbai) and IC 129/IC 130 (Mumbai– Nagpur–Mumbai). Capt. S. Deshmukh, Capt. Sangita Bangar and Capt. L. Nagrath were the Commanders and Capt. Rikita Singh, Capt. Deepali Pratape and Capt. Aprajita Lal were First Officers, respectively. The flights were despatched by Ms. Anjali Dhiman and the load and trim Sheets were prepared by Ms. Archana Patki.

Similarly, the airline’s Northern Region had 10 all-women crew flights. These were IC 688/IC 866 (Delhi–Mumbai–Delhi) by Capt. K. Kant and Capt. Shefali; IC 869 (Delhi–Raipur–Nagpur–Delhi) by Capt. Avantika and Capt. Deeksha; IC 409/IC 410 (Delhi–Patna–Delhi) by Capt. Renu and Capt. S. Trehan; IC 879 (Delhi–Bagdogra–Guwahati–Delhi) by Capt. N. Karmarkar and Capt. K. Kaur ; IC 903/IC 904 (Bangalore–Delhi–Bangalore) by Capt. Priya and Capt. Niranjana; IC 865 (Delhi–Mumbai) by Capt. Manjit and Capt. Neelam and AI 349 (Delhi–Mumbai) by Capt. N. Bhasin and Capt. Papory. Ms Babita Agarwal and Deepika Mathur prepared the check sheet and Ms Rita Chandra prepared the trim sheet.

Ms. Neetu Sharma a 737-800 aircraft maintenance engineer, in Air India Express, certified an aircraft at Sharjah. The airline even involved their doctors Dr. Varsha Sawant and Dr. Alka Mathur by making them carry out breathalyser tests at Mumbai.

Go go go ladies. Congratulations.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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