When AI 176, a Boeing 777 of Air India touched down at Bengaluru's Kempegowda airport in the early hours of 11th January 2021, it was making history on several counts. The flight is the inaugural long-haul service of Air India from San Francisco to Bengaluru, connecting the silicon valleys of the United States and India. The flight flew trans-Atlantic over the North Pole for over 17 hours nonstop, covering one of the longest air distances in the world.
But the most important milestone about the flight is that it was piloted by an all-women crew on the flight deck, making India proud. Representing IndianOil Aviation Service, the proud fuel partner to Air India, Mr Sanjay Sahay, Executive Director (Aviation), HO and Mr Hemant Rathore, CGM (Aviation), SR were at the Bengaluru Airport during the flight's landing at 03.45 am to welcome and greet the crew. When Mr Sahay remarked to Captain Zoya Aggarwal and the crew members that only Air India could have achieved such a feat, the team gracefully acknowledged the honour of being part of the historic flight and the support of IndianOil as the fueling partner. The IndianOil team also greeted the Air India officials including Mr Melvin D. Silva, Executive Director (Commercial) and Ms Bama Cariappa, AGM (Commercial) who were present on the occasion at the Airport.
The maiden return service of the flight from Bengaluru to San Francisco was refuelled by IndianOil Aviation Service at Bengaluru. Mr. Sanjay Sahay, Mr D L Pramodh, Executive Director & State Head, IndianOil - Karnataka and senior Air India officials lit the traditional lamp to mark the return journey of the flight. The crew of the return flight joined the celebrations on the occasion.