GURUGRAM- Air India (AI), the foremost global airline in India, celebrated the arrival of its initial Airbus A350-900 aircraft, bearing the registration VT-JRA, adorned in the airline’s striking new design. This marks a significant milestone in the airline’s ongoing transformation narrative.
The aircraft completed its delivery journey from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France, landing in New Delhi at 13:46 Hrs (local time) today.
Air India A350 Delivery
Operating under the special call sign AI350, the delivery flight was warmly received by representatives from Air India. Onboard as an observer was Air India’s Senior Commander, Capt. Monika Batra Vaidya was one of the first Indian pilots trained on the A350.
Air India is at the forefront of revitalizing Indian aviation, introducing the first new widebody fleet type in the country in over a decade and thereby becoming the inaugural Indian airline to operate the A350.
Notably, Air India was also the first Indian airline to incorporate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet type in 2012.
Campbell Wilson, the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Air India, expressed, “This moment signifies a pivotal day for all of us at Air India.”
“The A350 represents more than just metal and engines; it embodies the tireless efforts of every Air India employee contributing to our ongoing airline transformation and reflects our commitment to establishing new benchmarks. It also serves as a proclamation of the resurgence of Indian aviation on the global stage.”
“As a symbol of the modern era of air travel, the A350 ensures a world-class, long-haul travel experience on our non-stop routes, offering unparalleled comfort. Its outstanding flight economics and cutting-edge technology underscore our dedication to achieving commercially successful operations and meeting our sustainability goals,” Wilson added.
Three Class Configuration
Air India’s A350 is set to commence commercial operations in January 2024, beginning with domestic flights for crew familiarization and subsequently expanding to longer-haul routes spanning various continents. The detailed schedule for commercial A350 operations will be disclosed in the upcoming weeks.
The A350-900 aircraft from Air India boasts a three-class cabin configuration featuring 316 seats meticulously designed by Collins Aerospace.
This includes 28 private Business Class suites with full-flat beds, 24 Premium Economy seats with additional legroom and distinctive features, along with 264 spacious Economy Class seats.
All seats on the aircraft are equipped with the latest-generation Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system and HD screens to ensure an exceptional flying experience.
This particular A350 represents the first of Air India’s 20 Airbus A350-900 on order, with an additional five scheduled for delivery by March 2024. Notably, Air India has firm orders for 250 new aircraft from Airbus, encompassing 20 A350-1000.
In recent developments, Air India has initiated the rollout of its new global brand identity, including the launch of a revamped consumer-facing website and mobile app.
Additionally, the airline introduced a highly anticipated collection of new uniforms for cabin and cockpit crew, designed by the renowned Indian couturier Manish Malhotra. The debut of these new uniforms will coincide with the entry of the A350 into service.
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