Meet Anny Divya, the currently acclaimed youngest female commander of Boeing 777 aircraft in the world. The 30-year old Indian woman works with Air India.
According to her, she has always dreamt of flying the skies.
“I always wanted to become a pilot, from my childhood,”
“I didn’t have anybody around who knew about piloting at that time. I had no guidance… I just wanted to fly.”
At age 17, a friend sent her an advert to enroll in an aviation school, so she applied to Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi flying school.
Divya recalls that her challenges were opting for a profession that is not traditionally suitable for a woman in her community. While others chose popular paths that their parents accepted, she was determined to carve out her own niche.
Besides, there was also financial constraints to make her dream feasible.
“My parents have always been very supportive even though there were people telling them not to send me to flying lessons and the fees were a lot for them to pay at that time, but they managed.”
Fate smiled on her and she won herself a scholarship to enable her fulfill her flying dreams. Regardless she still battled with cultural and socio-economical challenges which tested her self-esteem.
“I had issues with the language and cultural changes, even the way I would dress was different because I came from a smaller city,”
“The others were from good cities and had gone to good schools and colleges… I had language barriers, I had cultural barriers.”
Anny Divya is from Vijayawada, a small city in the southeastern part of India.
By the age of 19, she had completed her pilot training at Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi.
In 2006, she started working with the commercial Airline, Air India. Divya often flies to New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.
During one of her interviews she revealed as well that before the milestone achievement of commanding the Boeing 777 airplane, that she also had the opportunity to captain a 737 flight as a first officer.
A Boeing 777 is longest-range aircraft and the largest twin jet in the world; developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Anny Divya said she had to train in Spain to be able to fly the B737. With her eye on the Boeing 777, she moved on to obtain a higher training in London.
“I went to Spain [to train] and I’ve been doing big international flights for 10 years now.”
In the course of developing her flying skills the determined pilot said she learnt a lot about life. She never forgets her humble beginnings.
The beautiful young woman looks forward to more adventure in her flying job. She intends to fly more tech-sophisticated aircrafts in the future; and will also try her hands on training potential pilots.
For all the challenges that came to her and her family as she insisted on finding her path, the strong and more-confident woman refused to cave in. She persisted and persevered.
The young girl who grew up in a remote location in India is now a well enlightened degree holder in Aviation and a lawyer; a profession her mother wanted to take up herself but couldn’t.
“We all have some success stories and failures – but we have to focus on what we need and to keep learning,”
“I wanted to become a pilot, that’s what I wanted to do. So even though I was not doing OK initially, I was very determined to just do it.”