TravelAir India welcomes India's first Airbus A350 aircraft in...

Air India welcomes India’s first Airbus A350 aircraft in striking new livery, ET TravelWorld

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Air India, India’s leading global airline, achieved a significant milestone on Saturday as it received the first of its 20 Airbus A350-900 aircraft, registered VT-JRA. This marks a pivotal moment in the airline’s ongoing transformation journey, showcasing a bold new livery.

The Airbus A350-900, arrived at New Delhi from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France, at 13:46 Hrs (local time) on December 23. The delivery flight, conducted with the special call sign AI350, was welcomed by Air India representatives. Senior Commander Capt. Monika Batra Vaidya, one of the first Indian pilots trained on the A350, was on board as an observer.

Thus, Air India becomes the first Indian airline to operate the A350, leading a renaissance in the country’s aviation landscape. This addition follows Air India’s distinction as the first Indian airline to introduce the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet in 2012.

Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Air India, expressed the significance of the moment, stating, “This 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.”

Emphasising the A350’s role in the future of flying, Wilson added, “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 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.”

The commercial service of Air India’s A350 is set to commence in January 2024, initially operating domestically for crew familiarisation before extending to longer-haul flights across continents. The airline will unveil the schedule of commercial operations with the A350 in the coming weeks.

New beginning: Air India begins rolling out new global brand identity

The rollout commenced with a complete transition to the new brand identity across digital channels, including the official website, mobile app, and social media platforms of Air India. Additionally, the rebranding process has begun at Delhi and Mumbai airports, with plans for a swift extension to other airports in the coming weeks.

Air India’s A350-900 features a three-class cabin configuration with 316 seats designed by Collins Aerospace, offering 28 private Business Class suites with full-flat beds, 24 Premium Economy seats with extra legroom, 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 a superior flying experience.

The delivered aircraft is the first of Air India’s 20 Airbus A350-900 on order, with five more scheduled for deliveries through March 2024. Air India’s firm orders for 250 new aircraft with Airbus include 20 A350-1000.

In line with this technological leap, earlier this week, Air India initiated the rollout of its new global brand identity, unveiling a consumer-facing website and mobile app. Additionally, the airline presented its much-anticipated new collection of uniforms for cabin and cockpit crew, designed by Indian celebrity couturier Manish Malhotra. The crew will don these new uniforms starting with the entry of service of the A350.

  • Published On Dec 24, 2023 at 09:01 AM IST

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