India's state airline Air India is operating what it claims to be the world's longest flight staffed only by women from New Delhi to San Francisco to mark International Women's Day.

A team of four pilots and 10 cabin crew were on board the Boeing 777-LR that departed Delhi early on Sunday, airline spokesman G Prasada Rao said.

The non-stop flight will cover some 12,300 kilometres in around 16 hours. It will return on International Women's Day on March 8.

The entire flight operation - including check-in, ground handling and traffic control - was handled by women.


"We will soon file for the Guinness Record for the world's longest all-women operated flight," Rao said.

The airline ran newspaper ads on Sunday claiming the all-women flight was a record and that it would operate 22 flights with all-women crews on March 8.

"The flight is a symbol of women empowerment and it will encourage women to step out of their comfort zone and succeed in male-dominated arenas too," pilot Ramya Kirti Gupta told broadcaster NDTV before take-off.

Air India launched the flight from India to the US west coast, among the longest scheduled routes in the world, in December.

Emirates launched a flight between Dubai and Auckland last week, reportedly the world's longest non-stop flight by distance, which covers some 14,200 kilometres.