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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/Courtesy Air Indai


Air India claims record with all-female round-world flight

Capt Kshamta Bajpayee (right) pictured along with Captain Sunita Narula, Capt Indira Singh and Capt Gunjan Aggarwal/Courtesy Air India

NEW DELHI, India, Mar 6 – India’s national airline claimed Monday to have set a new record with the first round-the-world flight staffed entirely by women.

Ai India said its Boeing 777 traveled from Delhi to San Francisco and back again with an all-female crew last week, the first time such a flight has circumnavigated the globe.

The airline, which has faced criticism in the past for grounding dozens of female cabin crew over their weight, said it had applied to Guinness World Records to validate the claim.

“Everyone involved in the flight operation from pilots to check-in staff to cabin crew were from our female staff,” spokesman G P Rao told AFP.

Rao said even the air traffic controllers at the Delhi end of the flight, which returned on March 3, were women.

The airline will operate more all-female flights this week to celebrate International Women’s Day on Wednesday, Rao said.

Last year the state-owned carrier said it had flown a non-stop flight for 17 hours to set a record for the longest all-female crew trip.

In recent years Air India has taken several initiatives to improve its record on gender equality.

In January it announced designated female-only seats on its domestic flights after a spate of sexual harassment complaints by passengers.

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