Air India has celebrated the delivery of its first Airbus A350 as the company enters a new era of operations.
The first A350-900 comes registered as VT-JRA and adorns the newly unveiled branding.
Delivery of the first unit symbolises the beginning of a new era for the Indian carrier that is undergoing a transformational program.
Delivery Of The First A350
VT-JRA touched down in New Delhi at 1346 (local time) after completing a delivery flight from Toulouse, France, also known as the home of Airbus.
Operating under the call sign AI350, the arrival was greeted by critical executives at the Indian carrier alongside more high-profile guests.
Air India says that Senior Commander Capt. Monika Batra Vaidya was on board the service as a key observer. He is one of the initial pilots trained on the Airbus A350.
Previously, this aircraft was destined for Aeroflot; however, due to sanctions, delivery was impossible. This is how airlines such as Air India have acquired the series quicker than others.
Typically, aircraft types such as the Airbus A350 have considerable associated wait times, but the Aeroflot saga allowed some lucky customers to bypass this.
Looking Inside Air India’s A350
Air India’s Airbus A350-900s will be configured to seat 316 passengers, with the interior designed by key partner and major aviation company Collins Aerospace.
Inside the cabin are three classes with 28 Business Class suites equipped with full-flat beds. Behind Business sees 24 Premium Economy seats, with the airline highlighting other defining features over the standard economy and extra legroom.
Lastly, towards the back of the cabin are 264 Economy Class seats. Air India notes that every seat has in-flight entertainment with the latest generation HD screens as part of the significant overhaul to the brand image.
Air India’s CEO Has His Say
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. It is also, in many ways, a declaration of Indian aviation’s resurgence on the world stage. 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 unparallelled level of comfort. Its excellent flight economics and state-Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Air India,
of-the-art technology underscore our dedication to commercially successful operations and to achieving our sustainability goals.
A New Era For Air India
The arrival of the Airbus A350 for Air India represents a new era for the significant carrier as it embarks on a transformation program.
The transformational program involves purchasing hundreds of next-generation aircraft from Airbus and Boeing. All these aircraft will also come equipped with the latest cabin products to enhance customer satisfaction.
Air India says that they also began rolling out their new global brand identity to guests earlier in the week. This new identity is also visible on the Airbus A350, with a revamped livery and branding.
The carrier based in India has recently faced substantial competition from emerging airlines and incurred significant losses detrimental to the brand’s success.
Air India Is Undergoing A Transformation
However, under the new ownership of Tata Group, the firm belief is that Air India can once more become an industry-leading carrier. This will be a long-term ambition, however, ambitious will align with the five year transformational roadmap unveiled in recent history.
Air India has already concluded the first phase of the transformation, the taxi phase. Air India says during this period, it was focusing on fixing the basics at the airline.
The taxi phase included bringing aircraft that had been grounded for a substantial period back to service, among other critical decisions by the carrier.