Captain Zoya Agarwal of Air India in SFO Aviation Museum


Captain Zoya Agarwal, a senior Air India pilot of aircraft Boeing-777, who is the first Indian woman pilot to fly an aircraft above the North pole, covering a record-breaking distance of around 16,000 Kilometres, made her place in SFO aviation museum on Friday.

In 2021 for the first time, an all-women pilot team of Air India led by Zoya Agarwal covered the world’s longest air route from San Franciso (SFO) in the United States of America to Bengaluru city in India, covering the North Pole.
The US-based aviation museum was impressed by the achievement of all Air India’s women pilots and thus they offered a place in their museum.

While talking to ANI, Captain Zoya Agarwal informed that she is the only human to have found a place as a pilot in the San Francisco Aviation Luis A Turpen Aviation museum which is commonly known as SFO Aviation Museum.

“I was amazed to see that I’m the only living object over there, I am just humbled honestly. I can’t believe that I am a part of a prestigious aviation museum in the USA,” Captain Zoya told ANI.

Recently, the SFO Museum commemorated the Indian pilot Zoya Agarwal’s extraordinary career in aviation and her advocacy for promoting women’s empowerment across the world, inspiring millions of girls and youth to meet their dreams.

“She is the first female Indian pilot to be included in our program. In addition to her remarkable career with Air India, including her record-breaking flight from SFO to Bengaluru in 2021 with an all-female crew, her positivity about the world and her commitment to helping other girls and women achieve their dreams is deeply inspiring. Being able to record and share Captain Agarwal’s personal history allows SFO Museum to preserve the excitement and the historic nature of her extraordinary career with current and future generations of aviation enthusiasts,” an official from the San Francisco Aviation museum told ANI.

“We are honored by your participation, and we hope to educate and inspire future generations,” the SFO aviation museum added.

Captain Zoya Agarwal also spoke with ANI just after receiving the certificate and being honored by the SFO aviation museum for her extraordinary career in aviation.

“I can’t believe that I am the first Indian female to be in a museum in the USA, if you ask the eight-year-old girl that use to sit on her terrace, looking at stars and dream about being a pilot. It’s an honor that the US recognized an Indian woman for their museum… it’s a great moment for me and my country,” captain Zoya said.

Captain Zoya Agarwal is one of the gender equality spokespersons at the United Nations (UN) and she has pioneered encouraging females and youth to fulfil their dreams.

The museum was launched at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in 1980, utilizing little more than images on walls as a means to beautify and humanize the Airport’s environment. Since then, it has grown into a dynamic exhibition program with galleries throughout all five terminals and developed an ever-growing collection of objects, now numbering more than 150,000 related to the history of SFO and commercial aviation.

Meanwhile, the participation of women pilots in India has increased rapidly, according to the International Society of Women Airlines, India holds the largest proportion of female pilots in the world. Accounting for around 12.4 per cent of all pilots, compared to 5.5 percent in the US.