India's national carrier Air India has marked International Women's Day with an all-female crew operating the world's longest regularly scheduled direct flight, from New Delhi to San Francisco.

Air India Chief Ashwini Lohani described the 17-hour flight as a "symbol of women's empowerment."

The entire flight operation — from pilots Kshamta Bajpayee and Shubhangi Singh and their co-pilots to the cabin crew, check-in staff and ground handling staff — was handled by women, the airline said in a statement.

Every year Air India celebrates International Women's Day by deploying female crews on some domestic and international routes.