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Air India’s first A350In a landmark achievement for Indian aviation, Air India, the nation’s premier airline, has proudly introduced its first Airbus A350-900, a symbol of both technological advancement and the carrier’s commitment to exceptional service. This groundbreaking event, held with much fanfare, signifies a new chapter in Air India’s journey, aligning with the company’s transformative aspirations.

The much-anticipated Airbus A350-900, christened VT-JRA, made a grand entrance in New Delhi at 13:46 local time, having flown from Airbus’s Toulouse facility. Marked by Air India’s stunning new brand livery, the aircraft represents not just an addition to the fleet but a leap into the future of air travel. With Captain Monika Batra Vaidya, one of India’s first female pilots trained on the A350, on board, the arrival was nothing short of historic.

Campbell Wilson, the CEO and Managing Director of Air India, eloquently captured the essence of this momentous occasion. “This is more than just a new aircraft; it’s the physical embodiment of Air India’s unwavering dedication to excellence and our commitment to redefine benchmarks in aviation,” he remarked. Wilson’s words reflect a deep-seated ambition to place Indian aviation on the global map.

The Airbus A350 is not just another addition to the fleet; it is a testament to Air India’s forward-thinking approach. This acquisition makes Air India the first in the nation to operate the A350, mirroring its earlier pioneering move with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in 2012. As the airline embraces this new era, it also sets a precedent in sustainable, economically viable operations and luxurious, long-haul travel experiences.

Slated to commence commercial operations in January 2024, the A350 will initially grace domestic skies for crew training, followed by international routes. With 316 seats designed by Collins Aerospace, the aircraft offers a three-tiered class system, including 28 Business Class suites, 24 Premium Economy, and 264 Economy seats. Each seat boasts the latest Panasonic eX3 entertainment system, ensuring a superior in-flight experience.

The A350 fleet, part of Air India’s substantial order of 250 new aircraft from Airbus, including 20 A350-1000s, marks a strategic move towards modernization. This week also saw the unveiling of Air India’s new global brand identity, a refreshed website, and a mobile app, further enhancing customer experience. Additionally, the airline introduced new uniforms designed by acclaimed Indian designer Manish Malhotra, aligning with the A350’s inaugural service.

Air India’s journey with the Airbus A350 is more than a fleet expansion; it’s a statement of intent, a stride towards innovation, and a commitment to sustainable, world-class air travel. As the Indian skies witness the ascent of this modern marvel, Air India celebrates a technological triumph and a renewed promise to its passengers: a promise of a future where the sky is not the limit but just the beginning.




Written by: Madhura Katti