Updated December 23rd, 2023 at 16:54 IST
Air India's Christmas gift: A brand new fleet of A350 aircraft
Get an exclusive glimpse into the interiors of the all new Air India A350
- 3 min read
Air India receives India's first Airbus A350: India’s leading global airline, Air India, today ushered in the first batch of 20 Airbus A350-900 aircraft, registered VT-JRA, in the airline’s bold new livery, marking a turning point in its ongoing transformation story. The aircraft arrived in New Delhi at 1:46 pm today from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France. The delivery flight, operated using the special call sign AI350, was welcomed by Air India representatives. Air India’s Senior Commander Captain Monika Batra Vaidya, who is among the first few Indian pilots to be trained on A350, was on board as an observer.
Republic on Friday, September 22, reported quoting an official source that the first Airbus A350 is “tentatively scheduled” to arrive in India on Saturday, September 23.
Air India stands as a trailblazer, catalysing the renaissance of Indian aviation by introducing the first new widebody fleet type in the country in over a decade. This milestone also makes Air India the first Indian airline to operate the A350, following its pioneering induction of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet type in 2012.
Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Air India, expressed the significance of the moment, stating, "This moment marks a red-letter day for all of us at Air India. The A350 is not just metal and engines; it’s the flying embodiment of the relentless efforts of all Air India employees towards our airline’s continuing transformation and of our commitment to setting new benchmarks."
Setting new standards in travel experience
Wilson emphasised the A350's role in providing a world-class, long-haul travel experience on non-stop routes, offering unparalleled comfort. The aircraft's advanced technology aligns with Air India's dedication to commercially successful operations and sustainability goals.
Air India's A350 is set to enter commercial service in January 2024, initially operating domestically for crew familiarisation before embarking on longer-haul flights to destinations across continents. The detailed schedule of commercial operations will be announced in the coming weeks.
Cabin configuration and passenger experience
The A350-900 aircraft features a three-class cabin configuration with 316 seats designed by Collins Aerospace. This includes 28 private Business Class suites, 24 Premium Economy seats with extra legroom, and 264 spacious Economy Class seats. All seats are equipped with the latest-generation Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system and HD screens.
Order details and expansion plans
This delivery is the first of Air India's 20 Airbus A350-900 on order, with five more scheduled for deliveries through March 2024. Air India has firm orders for 250 new aircraft with Airbus, including 20 A350-1000. With ambitious expansion plans, Air India has ordered a total of 40 Airbus A350 aircraft, with six A350-900s and 34 A350-1000s. The remaining five A350-900s are expected to be delivered by March 2024.
Published December 23rd, 2023 at 16:02 IST
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