Air India has received its first A350 from Airbus in Toulouse.
The brand-new A350-900 is the first of 20 A350s ordered by Air India and the airline expects to receive five more A350s by the end of March 2024.
The aircraft was delivered to Air India’s New Delhi base in the company’s new livery.
Air India will start commercial flights with the A350 in January 2024, initially operating domestically for crew familiarisation. The airline plans to announce the schedule of flights to long-haul destinations in the coming weeks.
When it does make the inaugural flight, Air India will become the first Indian airline to fly the A350.
Air India was also the first Indian airline to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in 2012.
Air India’s A350-900 aircraft has a total of 316 seats in a three-class layout:
- 28 Business Class suites in a 1-2-1 layout
- 24 Premium Economy seats in a 2-4-2 layout
- 264 Economy Class seats in a 3-3-3 layout
These first six A350s, while brand new, were originally going to Aeroflot. Air India has kept the seating that Aeroflot had ordered, with some changes to the colours. So it is likely that the deliveries after these six A350s will have a different layout.
All 28 Business Class Suites are full-flat beds with direct aisle access.
All business seats are fully lie-flat with direct aisle access [Image: Air India]
Premium Economy seats have more legroom than economy [Image: Air India]
They are ordinary economy seats but look good [Image: Air India]
All seats on the aircraft feature the latest-generation Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system and HD screens.
Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Air India:
“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 stateof-the-art technology underscore our dedication to commercially successful operations and to achieving our sustainability goals.”
The Airbus A350
The A350 Family has two versions: the A350-900, and the longer fuselage A350-1000.
A350s fly efficiently on any sector from short-haul to ultra-long-haul routes up to 9,700nm, carrying 300-410 passengers in typical three-class configurations, and up to 480 passengers in a single-class layout.
Passengers will enjoy a quieter, wider cabin, as well as larger panoramic windows and more space in the baggage compartments. Integrated connectivity lets them stay in touch with the rest of the world while in the air.
The A350 features the latest aerodynamic design, a carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent engines.
These elements translate into 25% less fuel burn and CO2 emissions and 50% reduction in noise.