MUMBAI, 26 March 2023 — India’s Full Service Carrier (FSC) Air India (AI) has received the delivery of the first Airbus A321neo, named after Ratan Tata. The narrow-body airliner is registered as VT-RTD to give tribute to TATA group chairman Emeritus.
The aircraft landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi (DEL). This is the first time that Air India took delivery of a narrowbody airliner after its acquisition by Tata group last year in Jan 2022.
First Airbus A321neo for Air India
Air India takes delivery of the brand new 1st of 4 Airbus A321neo. Earlier, these planes were destined for Russian carriers. This is for the first time that Air India has received delivery of a single-aisle airliner after its acquisition by Tata Group.
Tata group acquired Air India last year in January, and since then, it has gone into a complete transformation. The legacy company has envisioned Air India with Vihaan.AI roadmap.
According to FlightRadar24, the Aircraft took off from Hamburg (XFR) at 1:02 Pm IST and landed at Delhi (DEL) today at midnight 1:26 Am IST. VT-RTD completed several test flights before making today’s flight.
The first A321neo VT-RTD was earlier destined for the Russian Joint Stock Company Smartavia Airlines. However, it was painted to new Air India livery after 12 days and spotted in Hamburg for the first time in Feb 2023.
The Aircraft is part of 36 aircraft Air India has taken on lease. The Aircraft includes both narrow-body and wide-body airliners. They are 21 A320s, 4 A321neos, 5 Boeing 777-200LR, and 6 Boeing 777-300ERs.
Commenting on the lease of the Aircraft, Mr. Campbell Wilson, CEO & Managing Director of Air India, stated,
“Growing our network is an essential part of Air India’s Vihaan.AI transformational journey and we remain committed to increasing connectivity and frequency of flights both domestically and internationally. These additional aircraft leases will support our near term growth even as we finalise plans to refresh and significantly grow our long-term fleet.”Campbell Wilson, CEO & Managing Director of Air India
This is after 4 years that TATA-owned AI has taken delivery of single-aisle airliners. Also, the last A321 airliner that joined the fleet was back in 2010.
This is TATA
Tata’s vision to transform Air India and make it the world’s leading carrier is on the way. With historical order of 470 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, the Indian FSC is all set to become the largest carrier in the country.
Apart from this, Tata is looking to merge Air India (AI) with Vistara (UK) by the end of next year. After this merger, Air India would have a combined fleet of 218 planes, making it India’s largest international carrier and the country’s second-largest domestic carrier.
Already the company has successfully merged its low-cost arms, Air India Express (IX) and Air Asia India (I5).
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