Durba Banerjee

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Durba Banerjee
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Durba Banerjee was the first pilot of Indian Airlines in 1956 and the first Indian woman commercial pilot.[1][2][3]

Early life[edit]

As a child while growing up Banerjee liked planes and flying, becoming a pilot was her passion. She was the first woman of her times to break stereotypes and venture into this field.[4]


Banerjee started her aviation career flying a Dakota with Air Survey of India as a DC3 pilot in 1959.[4][5]

She moved on to join Indian Air Lines at the Calcutta base in 1966 and later retired in November, 1988.[4] It is heard that when she first approached then Central Aviation Minister Mr.Humayun Kabir to apply as a commercial pilot he was reluctant and instead offered her the post of a flight attendant.[4]

She has to her credit the most flying hours with 18500 hrs.[4][6]

  • She became a Commander in the F27 turbo prop Aircraft [5]
  • With the arrival of the B737 200 series she got herself type rated as a Jet Pilot to fly the Boeing737 [5]
  • She also flew the Airbus 300.[5]


  1. ^ "Indian Women in Aviation, Indian Airforce". iaf00.tripod.com.
  2. ^ "First Indian woman to command jet engine aircraft retires - Indian Express". archive.indianexpress.com.
  3. ^ Krishnaswamy, Murali N. (1 November 2011). "One hundred years of flying high" – via www.thehindu.com.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Biographical Sketch". Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d "History of Airlines". Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  6. ^ http://indiaconsole.com/durba-banerjee.html