Air India said on Saturday (Dec 23) that it received India’s first Airbus A350 aircraft. In a statement, Air India said it has 20 A350-900S on order and the first such aircraft arrived in New Delhi at 1.46 pm from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France. Five more aircraft will be delivered in March 2024.

“The delivery flight, operated using a special call sign AI350, was welcomed by Air India representatives. Air India’s Senior Commander Capt. Monika Batra Vaidya, who is among the first few Indian pilots to be trained on A350, was on board as an observer,” the statement said. 

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“Air India leads the way in catalysing the renaissance of Indian aviation, inducting the first new widebody fleet type in India in more than a decade, and thus, becoming the first Indian airline to fly the A350. Air India was also the first Indian airline to have inducted the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet type in 2012,” it added.

‘Aircraft promises world-class travel experience’

Reacting to the welcoming of the A350, Air India’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director Campbell Wilson 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.”

First look inside our stunning A350-900!

28 luxurious and private suites with full-flat beds in Business Class, 24 Premium Economy seats with extra legroom and comfort, and 264 spacious & ergonomic Economy Class seats.

Where will you fly first? ✈#AI350 #AirIndia

— Air India (@airindia) December 23, 2023


Wilson said the aircraft promised a world-class, long-haul travel experience on our non-stop routes, providing an unparalleled level of comfort. “Its excellent flight economics and state-of-the-art technology underscore our dedication to commercially successful operations and to achieving our sustainability goals,” he added.

Aircraft to enter commercial service in Jan 2024

The statement further said that the A350 would enter commercial service in January 2024, initially operating domestically for crew familiarisation, followed by longer-haul flying to destinations across continents. The schedule for the commercial operations with the aircraft will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Air India’s A350-900 aircraft come in a three-class cabin configuration with 316 seats designed by Collins Aerospace: 28 private Business Class suites with full-flat beds, 24 Premium Economy seats with extra legroom and multiple other differentiating features, and 264 spacious Economy Class seats. All seats on the aircraft feature the latest-generation Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system and HD screens to provide superior flying experience,” the statement added.

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