New Delhi: An all-women crew will operate a 15-hour non-stop flight from here to Toronto on Tuesday to mark the International Women's Day.

The 11-member crew will not only operate the flight AI-187, but women engineers will carry out the safety audit before the Boeing B 777-300ER aircraft flies off from the IGI Airport.

While Capt Rashmi Miranda will be the commander and Capt Sunita Narula the First Officer on this commemorative flight, Harpreet A De Singh, chief of Quality Management Systems, will carry out a Line Observation Safety Audit. The flight will be dispatched by Rashmi Verma, a spokesperson said.

The airline will also operate flights on several domestic sectors with all-women crew. These include flights on sectors like Delhi-Patna, Delhi-Raipur-Nagpur, Delhi-Lucknow, Mumbai-Bangalore, Chennai-Mumbai and Bangalore-Delhi.

Air India has a large contingent of 157 women pilots flying its fleet of wide and narrow body aircraft on international and domestic routes. It employs over 5,300 women.

Interestingly, a flight of no-frill airline IndiGo was recently delayed by about two hours when a passenger created ruckus saying he would not fly with a woman pilot. Airport security officials took him off the plane, but he was allowed back only after an apology.

Meanwhile as part of the centenary celebrations of Civil Aviation in India and to observe the Women's Day, the Civil Aviation Ministry will felicitate women aviators who have contributed significantly to the sector.

Among those to be felicitated are Capt Durba Banerjee, the first woman commander of an airline, and Chanda Budhabhatti, pioneer pilot and founder of Indian Women Pilots' Association.

Capt Prem Mathur, the first woman to obtain a Commercial Pilot License, would also be honoured posthumously.

(Agencies)