Tata Group-owned Air India has received its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft from France, marking a new era in Indian aviation.
The Airbus A350-900, registered VT-JRA, touched down in New Delhi at 13:46 local time, arriving from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France.
Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Air India, said: “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. It is also, in many ways, a declaration of Indian aviation’s resurgence on the world stage.”
Aircraft features and deployment
The A350-900 boasts a three-class cabin with 316 seats, including 28 Business Class suites, 24 Premium Economy seats, and 264 Economy Class seats, all equipped with the latest in-flight entertainment systems.
According to the company's statement, the aircraft will enter commercial service in January 2024, initially operating domestically for crew familiarisation, followed by longer-haul flying to destinations across continents.
“As a symbol of the new age of flying, the A350 promises a world-class, long-haul travel experience on our non-stop routes, providing an unparallelled level of comfort. Its excellent flight economics and stateof-the-art technology underscore our dedication to commercially successful operations and to achieving our sustainability goals,” Wilson added.
Future fleet expansion
Air India anticipates the arrival of five more A350-900s by March 2024 as part of its order of 250 aircraft with Airbus. The airline said it has completed the necessary regulatory approvals for the maintenance of the A350, ensuring smooth operations for the upcoming fleet.
Earlier this week, the airline started the rollout of its new global brand identity across guest touchpoints, having launched a new consumer-facing website and mobile app. Last week, the airline unveiled its new collection of uniforms for cabin and cockpit crew designed by Indian celebrity couturier, Manish Malhotra.
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