Air India pilot becomes world's youngest female commander of a Boeing 777

An Indian woman has overcome the misgivings of her local community to become the youngest female captain of a Boeing 777 aircraft in the world.

Anny Divya took command of a 777, the world's largest twin jet, at the age of 30, proving wrong those who had tried to convince her parents it wasn't a viable career option.

"Luckily my parents have been very supportive, even though a lot of people were telling them not to send me for flying lessons," she told Indian TV station Mirror Now.

"There was a lot of resistance all round - especially the fees, which were a lot for [my parents] to pay at the time."

Growing up in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh in India, Divya knew she wanted to be a pilot, even though most of her classmates planned to follow their parents' advice to become doctors and engineers.

 

A post shared by Anny Divya (@anny_divya) on

"I fought hard to achieve my dreams," she said.

See also: 'Passengers tried to get off': Why it's tough being a female airline pilot

She enrolled in flying school Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi at the age of 17 with her parents' support, earning a scholarship and completing her training at 19.

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Hired by Air India, she worked her way up the ranks, learning to fly a Boeing 737 in Spain. She had the option to take command of the 737, but decided to hang out "a bit longer" for the 77. "It's the plane I always wanted to fly," she said.

Divya got her chance to fly a 777 during her advanced training in London and says that taking command of one "is what I wanted to do".

She has completed a BSc Aviation degree while working for the airline and used her earnings to help her family financially, buying her parents a house and financing her brother and sister's overseas studies.

Divya encouraged other women to go after their goals, saying "all women should pursue their dreams, especially right now".

Stuff.co.nz

See also: Boeing 777: The world's best passenger plane?

See also: Tiny rest areas where cabin crew sleep during a long haul flight

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