Air India Takes International Women’s Day to New Heights

by Alyssa Daniells
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To mark International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re celebrating Air India’s record-breaking, all-female, around-the-world flight.

Amelia Earhart, the first female to fly on a solo mission across the Atlantic Ocean.

India’s flag-carrier installed an entirely female crew on board a round the world trip from its New Delhi hub to San Francisco and back, timed with International Women’s Day.

Air India announced that the Feb 27 voyage set a world record: a flight around the globe staffed only with women. The airline already holds a record for operating the world’s longest nonstop flight, this same DEL to SFO flight. Air India was the first carrier to service these gateways by flying across the Atlantic Ocean, instead of the Pacific Ocean.

This route takes around 14.5 hours to circumnavigate the globe, tallying over 15,000 km on a Boeing 777.

Another significant feature of this special journey was that, in addition to female Air India pilots and flight attendants, the air traffic controllers and engineers who inspected the aircraft were also women.

Last year, Air India staffed 20 all-female crews for domestic and international routes. Other airlines in the past have marked International Women’s Day by staffing flights with all women, including Air France and Lufthansa.

Air India won’t simply stop at this recent record. It refuels its female-dominated routes on the actual International Women’s Day. All-women crews will be flying to worldwide destinations on March 8 as well.

air india international women's day boeing aircraft new delhi del san francisco sfo

Not only was it the duration of the Air India record-breaking flight that’s remarkable, but the fact that it was launched by a carrier of which the country of origin is thought to be steeped in tradition. Also noteworthy but often overlooked was the fact that Air India was the first international carrier to operate a domestic flight with an all-female crew, and that was way back in 1985.

Air India’s strong feminist stance is a window to, as well as a catalyst for, India’s changing perspectives. The airline and its female-dominated routes have a positive global impact as well, something to celebrate this International Women’s Day.

We’ve come a long way since the early days of air travel. Even into the 1980s, many major carriers forbade their “air hostesses” to marry and hiring practices were often based on physical appearance, to name a couple of the industry’s discriminatory practices. The first female pilot of a commercial carrier was introduced as late as 1973, and even today male pilots largely outnumber their female counterparts. Fortunately, every year the number of women flying airplanes (and men working as flight attendants) increases. No doubt female-forward initiatives like Air India’s will help fill the gender gap for future flying generations.

Happy International Women’s Day! Book online or call us at 1 877 967 5302, and get great rates on Air India.