A Historic Feat! Air India Becomes 1st Indian Airline to Fly over the North Pole
An Air India flight embarked upon a historical trip over the North Pole on India’s 73rd Independence Day. On 15th August, the centrally owned Air India airlines made its maiden trip.
India set a record by becoming the first Indian commercial airline to enter the polar sphere of the earth. The flight from Delhi to San Francisco flew 0 degrees north for the very first time instead of taking the conventional Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean route.
As per newspaper reports, the Air India operations team had devised two flight plans. With preparations and follow-ups on the closure of Pakistan airspace to Indian flights on August 15. The different route was prepared wherein the aeroplane would fly over the Strait of Hormuz to reach the North Pole keeping this in mind.
Capt Rajneesh Sharma and his team, featuring Capt Digvijay Singh with first officers Capt Karan Aggarwal and Capt Siddesh Dadarkar took charge of the flight deck of Flight Al173 to San Francisco flew that took off from New Delhi bearing about 243 passengers at 4 AM. By 12:27 PM, it had covered Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia.
Capt Rajneesh Sharma shared his experience with TOI. He said that there was no air traffic behind after the flight covered Russia. For about nine hours, there was no air traffic insight with just the vast expanse of snow in view.
No country legally owns the North Pole currently, even though Russia, Canada and Denmark have claimed ownership of the Lomonosov Ridge that falls under the territory of the North Pole.
Were you on the flight for this unique experience? Let us know in the comments below.