An Indian woman has become the youngest female commander of a Boeing 777 aircraft in the world. Anny Divya gained the title of commander at just 30 years old, overcoming her humble beginnings to achieve what had always been considered an outlandish ambition by her local community.
Born in Pathankot, Anny wanted to become a pilot ever since she was a child. However, her journey towards attaining that goal wasn’t easy.
Divya was educated at the Kendriya Vidyalaya, reported Business Standard. Most of her classmates wanted to become engineers and doctors at the advice of their parents, but Divya always wanted to take a different path.
"From a child, I always wanted to be a pilot, although I didn’t have much guidance on how to become a pilot," she told Mirror Now. "Luckily my parents have been very supportive, even though a lot of people were telling them not to send me for flying lessons,” Divya further said. "There was a lot of resistance all around – especially the fees, which were a lot for [my parents] to pay at that time.”
At the age of 17, she got into the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA), the flying school in Uttar Pradesh. By the age of 19, Divya’s training was complete and she bagged a job with Air India. She regularly flies to New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.
"During that period, for the first time, I went abroad. I was sent to Spain for training. When I came back, I got the opportunity to fly Boeing 737. Ever since then, there has been no looking back. When I turned 21, I was sent to London for further training. It was then when I started to fly Boeing 777. Since then, my life has changed. It’s been a great experience so far. I’ve got the opportunity to travel to various countries. My journey so far has taught me a lot,” Divya further said.
She revealed in the interview that before taking command of the 777, she had the opportunity to captain a 737, but decided to wait a while to achieve her dream of commanding the bigger jet.
A Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes, while the 737 is a short- to medium-range twinjet narrow-body airline.
While working with Air India, Divya has earned a degree in BSc Aviation and done a course in classical keyboard, plus used her salary to change her family’s fortunes – she has financed both her brother and sister’s studies abroad and bought a house for her parents.
She encouraged other women to go after what they want: "All women should pursue their dreams, especially right now,” she added.