Air India’s First Airbus A350-900 Lands in Delhi
Airbus Airlines Deliveries

Air India’s First Airbus A350-900 Lands in Delhi

Air India's First Airbus A350-900 lands in Delhi. Photo: Air India

DALLAS — Air India’s (AI) first wide-body Airbus A350-900 aircraft, registered as VT-JRA, arrived in Delhi on Saturday, marking a significant step in the airline’s fleet expansion plans. The aircraft completed its journey from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France, and arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) at 13:46 hrs (local time).

Air India representatives welcomed the delivery flight, operating under the callsign AI350. The team included the carrier’s Senior Commander, Capt. Monika Batra Vaidya, who is one of the first Indian pilots trained on the A350 and participated in the flight as an observer.

According to Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Air India, the A350 promises a world-class, long-haul travel experience on nonstop routes. The A350-900 has a three-class cabin configuration with a total of 316 seats The cabin includes:

  • 28 Business Class suites with full-flat beds.
  • 24 Premium Economy seats with additional legroom and distinctive features.
  • 264 Economy Class seats. All seats are equipped with in-flight entertainment systems and HD screens.
Air India A350-900 crew at DEL. Photo: Air India
Air India A350-900 crew at DEL. Photo: Air India

Air India’s Fleet Expansion

On June 20, 2023, it was confirmed that AI had placed the largest order in its history for 470 narrow and widebody aircraft from manufacturers Boeing and Airbus. From those, the carrier initially chose 40 units of the A350 family to support its upcoming ramp-up of long-haul operations.

Air India plans to induct a total of 20 Airbus A350-900 aircraft into its fleet The airline anticipates receiving an additional five planes by March 2024 This expansion will make AI the first Indian carrier to have this type of aircraft.

Air India has already obtained regulatory approval for engineering line maintenance of the A350 aircraft. This achievement ensures the smooth operation and maintenance of all six A350 aircraft that will be inducted into the fleet in mid-2024.

However, before the aircraft is certified to carry passengers, several post-arrival regulatory processes must be completed. These processes include customs clearance, various DGCA checks on equipment, and a series of ground tests and proving flights to demonstrate procedures in action.

The type is scheduled to begin commercial operations in January 2024.

Featured image: Air India’s first Airbus A350-900 lands in Delhi. Photo: Air India. Article source: The Times of India

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