MUMBAI- Tata-owned Indian FSC Air India (AI) passengers can look forward to new interiors and in-flight WiFi services in the next two years. The airline plans to introduce this feature on its redecorated wide-body aircraft.
According to Air India MD and CEO Campbell Wilson, the airline will begin offering onboard WiFi services next year.
Further, the implementation will commence with adding six new wide-body Airbus A350 aircraft to its fleet in the coming months, as Wilson revealed to TOI on Monday.
Air India New Interiors and Onboard Wifi
Following the initial implementation of the new Airbus A350 aircraft, the WiFi facility will be extended to other wide-body planes in Air India’s fleet. Subsequently, including both newly inducted and existing aircraft.
Additionally, some single-aisle aircraft will also receive this feature. Furthermore, AI aims to revamp the interiors of its entire wide-body fleet within the next two years. Further, providing passengers with a brand-new in-flight experience.
By the end of next March, Air India plans to introduce 19 new wide-body aircraft into its fleet. These newly inducted planes will be equipped with onboard WiFi as a priority.
Starting in mid-2024, AI will initiate a comprehensive refurbishment project for its 40 existing wide-body aircraft. This includes 27 Boeing 787s and 13 B777s.
The refurbishment will involve replacing the interiors of these aircraft entirely, including seats, inflight entertainment (IFE) systems, and the addition of onboard WiFi.
With an investment of $400 million, this extensive upgrade project aims to provide passengers with a completely refreshed cabin experience. By mid-2025, Air India’s entire fleet of twin-aisle aircraft will feature a brand-new cabin product.
New First and Business Class
Air India CEO Campbell Wilson says he is “confident that, when revealed, the new interiors will delight customers. Further, it will show the airline in a new light.”
The fleet-wide US$400m upgrade program will encompass premium economy – a ‘first’ for the carrier as it targets the country’s growing middle-class travel market. Alongside a revamp of inflight entertainment “across all classes.”
Wilsons sees an “untapped opportunity” for indirect flights to North America. Further increasing the frequency of flights to European destinations such as Frankfurt, Paris, and the UK.
Air India has announced that the initial aircraft equipped with its ‘next generation’ product will take to the skies in the middle of 2024. The airline attributes the timeline to a thorough and essential process and the manufacturing lead time for the seats.
Air India has enlisted the services of London-based JPA Design for the revamp project. With an impressive portfolio that includes renowned clients like Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, The Orient Express, and Belmond Grand Hibernian. JPA Design brings its expertise to elevate Air India’s offering.
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