Air India Express (AIXL), India’s first international budget airline, achieved a significant milestone on Thursday by operating India’s first all-women Haj flight. This special flight, carrying 145 women pilgrims, was entirely managed by an all-women crew in all critical flight operations roles, supporting the Haj Committee of India’s groundbreaking initiative to have only women passengers on board.
The first all-women Haj flight, IX 3025, departed from Kozhikode to Jeddah at 18:45 IST on Thursday, arriving in Jeddah at 22:45 local time. Capt. Kanika Mehra and First Officer Garima Passi piloted the flight, accompanied by cabin crew members Bijitha M.B, Sreelakshmi, Sushma Sharma, and Subhangi Biswas.
Women professionals from Air India Express also carried out crucial ground tasks. Sarita Salunkhe monitored the flight at Air India Express’s Operation Control Centre, while Ms Mrudula Kapadia tracked the flight’s progress. Leena Sharma and Nikita Jawanjal handled Flight Dispatch. Nisha Ramachandran served as the on-duty service engineer responsible for aircraft maintenance, and Ranju R verified and signed the load sheet as the loadmaster.
The Haj Committee’s empowering initiative for women aligns perfectly with Air India Express’ core values of equality and diversity, as the airline’s workforce consists of 50% women.