Air India’s all-female crew made history in celebration of International Women’s Day. For the first time ever, every Air India employee involved in the flight, including the pilots, cabin crew, check-in staff, doctor, customer care representatives, and the air traffic control and ground crew were all women.

The crew flew from Delhi, India, to San Francisco on 17 hour flight, which is the longest flight that Air India offers. Captains Kshamta Bajpayee and Shubhangi Singh flew the plane.

“The airline has immense respect for women and it would be a symbol of women empowerment,” said Ashwini Lohani, the chairman and managing director of Air India.

Air India celebrates International Women’s Day each year by operating select flights in its international and domestic routes with female crew members. The airline has around 3,765 female employees, including pilots, engineers, technicians, doctors, security personnel, and cabin crew.  

In sharp contrast, here in the United States, only 5 percent of commercial pilots are female. Ironically, founder of Femde, Liz Hausle, was greeted by a female captain when she boarded a Jet Blue flight on her way to New York to attend the International Women’s Day Forum at the UN.

Slowly but surely things are changing however.  “The men who didn’t want women in the cockpit have mostly retired,” says Amy Laboda, editor-in-chief of Aviation for Women magazine. Fly high, ladies.