Flight Plan

Soaring in the sky on International Women’s Day

Ashwini Phadnis | Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on March 07, 2017

A first: Kusum Devi and Guddu Devi have not flown before KAMAL NARANG

Air India takes 70 women, including those who have never flown, on a joy ride

Kusum Devi, Guddu Devi and Anita Gupta work in Air India. There is another common factor that binds the three — despite working in the national airline, none of the three has had a peek inside an aircraft. But that was till now.

By the time you read this, the three would have taken their maiden flight along with 70 other women on a joy-ride on an ATR-driven aircraft from Delhi to Agra. The special flight has been arranged by Air India on the occasion of International Women’s Day, which is celebrated every year on March 8. Apart from women employees of Air India, their counterparts from Alliance Air, industry regulator Director General of Civil Aviation and Vistara will also be taking the flight.

Kusum Devi, a peon, has been working with Air India for over 17 years. At home, she has become sort of a celebrity for her four daughters and a son, and will become the first member of her family to travel by air. “I have been to the airport a few times but never inside an aircraft,” said Kusum, adding that her children have asked her enjoy this opportunity of a life time.

Her co-passengers Guddu Devi is a safai karamchari with the national carrier; and Anita Gupta is an office assistant in Air India Engineering Services Limited.

Joining them will be Vistara’s Neha Virmani. "As a representative of Vistara's women employees, I am happy to be participating in this unique initiative of Air India. Looking forward to the joy ride and interacting with peers from other airlines", said the HR .

.Air India has made it a habit to hit the headlines every year on March 8.

Last year, it operated 20 all-women crew flights in domestic routes. This year, the airline became the darling of social media after creating a record for sending an all-women crew on an around-the-world flight from Delhi to San Francisco, and back.

The joy ride is perhaps the cherry on the cake. Air India started work on this special flight in January and also approached other private airlines to nominate women who should be part of the flight.

“This initiative is being taken so that people working in the sector for long years get a chance to fly. There are many who might have gone inside an aircraft but have never flown in one. This will give them a chance to fly,” Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India told BusinessLine.

The airline is rolling out the red carpet to make it a special day for these women. They will be ushered into the airport, given special boarding cards and badges which will have the Alliance Air logo to mark the special flight. A freshly baked cake will be cut at the airport by some of the women flying to Agra.

Once in the aircraft and air-borne, a special menu consisting of muffins, sandwiches and juice in paper boxes will be provided to each passenger. The airline will also be providing a gift — a pouch which will have goodies handy for a woman — so that each one of them has a small memento to remember the special flight.

Published on March 07, 2017

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.