According to a study by the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, India is estimated to have 11 per cent women pilots compared to the world average of 5 per cent. And, who better than the country's flag carrier could have showcased this achievement with such pride?
Flying the longest all-women crew flight, Air India, claims to have created a world record as part of its International Women's Day (March 8) celebrations. On Sunday, March 6, the airline operated the AI-173 (a 16 hours 22 minutes flight) from New Delhi to San Francisco with an all women staff including the cabin crew, cockpit crew, doctor, customer care staff and the ground staff, including the operator, technician, engineer, flight dispatcher and trimmer. The captain of the flight was Shubhangi Singh. The brand publicised the feat through leading newspapers and its social media channels, and also shared some pictures of the crew.
And, on Women's Day tomorrow, the airline will also operate 22 all-women crew flights on domestic routes.
Over the years, Air India has grown to become an international airline with a network of 34 destinations across the USA, Europe, Australia, Far-East and South-East Asia, and the Gulf. The airline's domestic network covers 52 destinations, including far-flung areas of the North-East, Ladakh, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Air India's logo is a red-coloured flying swan with the 'Konark Chakra' in orange, placed inside it.
Any talk about the brand is incomplete though, without the mention of Air India's brand mascot the 'Maharajah'. The now familiar lovable figure first made his appearance in Air India way back in 1946, when Bobby Kooka as Air India's commercial director and Umesh Rao, an artist with J Walter Thompson, Mumbai, together created it.
The widely-travelled Maharajah is among the most recognised mascots in the world today. "We call him a Maharajah for want of a better description. But, he's not blue-blooded. He may look like royalty, but he isn't royal," was how Kooka had described it.