Air-India Made History with an All-Women Crew on a 17-Hour Flight

Air-India, Boeing 777

An all-women Indian pilot crew made history after completing the longest non-stop commercial flight ever operated by Air-India. The team completed the 17-hour-long flight on Jan 11, 2021, according to a statement released by the airline.

The Air-India Crew Enjoyed a View From the North Pole

The plane departed from San Francisco on January 11 and arrived in Bengaluru, India passing through the North Pole, covering a distance of more than 8,600 miles.

The All-Women Air-India Crew The commander of the Air-India flight 176, Captain Zoya Aggarwal, shared how proud she was of the crew and as “India’s daughters” they were given the great opportunity to create a new chapter in Indian aviation history. The captain also mentioned that she’d been preparing for this particular flight for more than a year.

Her co-pilot, Captain Thanmei Papagari couldn’t resist but share the “superb” feeling she got flying over the North Pole and enjoying the view.

Air-India Flight 176 route The two first officers on the Air-India flight who also enjoyed being part of this history-making flight are Captain Akansha Sonaware and Captain Shivani Manhas.

An Important International Connection for the Tech Industry

This flight is also the first to connect directly to the United States and South India, according to a statement from KIAB (Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru).

“This is the first non-stop flight between Bengaluru and the United States, connecting the world’s two tech hubs and sister cities — the original Silicon Valley and the Silicon Valley of India.”

This India-Air flight was important on many levels, and even India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Puri, congratulated the team on their journey.

India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Puri greeting the all-female crew

The Highest Percentage of Women Pilots in the World

India’s aviation sector invests heavily in training women-pilots with about 12% of the country’s pilots being women. This is also the highest percentage in the world. Compared to the US with only 4% of female-pilots, that makes roughly three times the proportion to the states.

Clever Dog Communicates With Their Owner Through A Sound Board

Anyone who’s ever said that dogs aren’t smart might reconsider their stance after meeting Bunny. This sheepadoodle – yes, that’s a real breed – can communicate in English through use of a soundboard, proving that these animals are brighter than we often give them credit for. Meet this clever dog…

Learning A New Language

Talking is something we tend to take for granted, given it’s been years since we discovered how to do it. However, this form of communication is still very new to Bunny, as they’ve only been able to do it since last September. That was when their owner introduced them to a specially-designed soundboard which the dog could use to start learning English.

Inspired By Others

Alexis Devine, Bunny’s owner, was inspired to bridge the communication gap between her and her clever dog after viewing the work of Christina Hunger. This speech-language pathologist had made a sound board for her dog, which is what Devine then recreated for her own pet. After using that for several months, she teamed up with a cognitive scientist who hooked her up with the sound board that she and Bunny now use.

It’s All In The Repetition

Over the months, Bunny’s understanding of the English language has continued to grow. She now has 45 words on the sound board, which might not seem like much, but it’s pretty impressive given that dogs aren’t known for their speaking skills. Bunny learns what each word means through contextual clues provided by Devine. For instance, if she presses the button that says “outside,” Alexis then takes her outside. Repeating that enough times eventually helps Bunny to associate the sound with the action.

Being able to communicate with her dog has strengthened the bond that the two of them share, according to Devine. The sound board has brought a lot of joy and wonder into their lives, and we’re sure that will only continue as Bunny learns more and more new words.