Anny Divya always knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. “From a child, I always wanted to be a pilot,” she told the Indian news show Mirror Now, “although I didn’t have much guidance on how to become a pilot.” Divya forged ahead anyway, ignoring the critics who told her parents it was a waste to send a young girl to flying lessons, hoping the high costs would be worth it someday.
By all measures, Divya’s education paid off. She became a certified pilot at age 19, graduating from pilot training at Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi. From there, Divya was hired on at Air India. And now, at age 30, Divya has become the youngest female pilot to captain a Boeing 777, a massive jet used for long haul flights. Divya’s regular routes include flying from India to New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
Divya’s story has inspired young women around the world, and sparked many questions about the path to becoming a pilot. Divya took the chance to answer some of the questions publicly with a post on her Facebook page going over some of the broad educational guidelines required for the career path.
Divya told Mirror Now that she had the chance earlier in her career to pilot a Boeing 737, but held out in the hopes that she’d get the opportunity to pilot her dream jet: the much larger Boeing 777.
The 777, commonly referred to as the “Triple 7,” is the world’s largest twin-engine jet, capable of carrying nearly 400 passengers with a range of 8,555 nautical miles. It’s no wonder the humongous jet was at the top of Divya’s list of flying dreams.
Divya might have achieved her goal at a record-setting young age, but she hopes her story inspires women everywhere, at every age, to aim high. “All the women should pursue their dreams,” Divya told Mirror Now, “especially right now.”