Air India is preparing for its newest aircraft, the Airbus A350, to enter service in the coming days.
January 22 Entry Into Service
First flights with the Airbus A350 are expected to occur from January 22, 2024, following a lengthy period of optimisation after the airline took delivery of the aircraft in December 2023.
Air India says the A350s are expected to initially operate domestic services, with these being essential in crew training and familiarisation flights as the company gets used to a new aircraft type.
Typically, when a new aircraft type arrives with a company, they’ll deploy the unit on domestic flights first, which are short. Once this testing period is completed, the airline will upgrade the aircraft to its initial plan.
For Air India, the A350 will focus on specifically International services. However, for the moment, it’ll focus on routes between cities such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
A New Era For Air India
Air India labels the Airbus A350 as a game-changer, and while these words are typically ushered by major airlines when receiving a new aircraft type, this couldn’t be truer for Air India.
The arrival of the Airbus A350 marks a significant moment for the company under new ownership from Tata Group as they continue moving towards the next generation of the fleet.
An arrival comes following a significant investment in new aircraft consisting of almost 500. These new planes from Airbus and Boeing will mark a new era where the airline looks to become a leading global force.
To achieve these plans, the carrier has also revamped the interior of its aircraft, with the A350 debuting a new feel. The company hopes that the overall customer experience will increase through a cabin upgrade.
Air India has in the past bled money, and its reputation among India and travellers has dropped significantly, facing fresh competition in the sector. Tata Group has had to inject billions into the future of the company.
More Airbus A350s On The Way
The first Airbus A350-900 is registered as VT-JRA. However, this will hardly be the only A350 the company flies in the future.
The company has commitments towards a further 19 A350-900s, with five scheduled to be delivered through March as part of a rapid fleet increase.
Away from the routine A350-900, the airline also has commitments for the high-capacity variant, the A350-1000, which will be important in boosting seats across high-profile routes.