Born in India in 1987, Anny Divya wanted to become a pilot and fly even as a child. Although she had never sat on a plane at this time, she held onto her dream. Her parents were not enthusiastic about the idea. However, when she received one of the 24 highly sought after training spaces, her father financed
pilot school. Anny Divya remembers a talk with her mother where she tried to impart her passion for flying: “Mum, I just wanna fly.” It was not conventional to invest so much in a girl’s education in her family.
Critics did not rate her professional chances as particularly high. Today, however, she works as a successful pilot with Air India and is, to date, the youngest woman to have ever flown the long-haul aircraft, the Boeing 777. Anny Divya is a role model for many girls and women – her power, enthusiasm and determination have driven her to where she always wanted to be.
What was your dream as a child?
My biggest dream was to become a pilot. When I was a very young girl, I went to my mom and said “I want to fly. I want to fly like a bird in the sky. I want to feel the clouds. How do I do that?” My mom said if you want to do that you have to become a pilot. There was not even an airport at that time where I was living. The first time I stepped into the airplane was to learn how to fly.
How was it for you being in the clouds for the first time?
I think as children, we all look at the sky and clouds and want to feel how it is to be actually there. It's as if they give us a fantasy of heaven, how it feels, and you want to be there. The first time I was there, I was like: “Wow I'm in heaven.”
And trust me, even today when I go in and out of the clouds I feel the same. It's amazing!
What is the most magical part of your career?
I became youngest female commander to command the longest twinjet engine aircraft (Boeing 777) in the world. So that's the most magical moment of my life!
Let me ask you about the philosophy of your life. What keeps you going?
When I went for my initial training many people made fun of the way I dressed, my style and even my language. Ok, if I made mistakes people would laugh and I would wait till they finish laughing and I would say, ok if you're done with laughing, please let me know what is right because I want to learn. And that helped me learn so much more and I grew so much faster and I don’t know where I’ll stop.