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Jyotiraditya Scindia inaugurates India’s and Air India’s first A350

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia (Photo: @JM_Scindia)

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday inaugurated India’s and Air India’s first Airbus A350 aircraft on the first day of Wings India 2024.

This not only marks the arrival of state-of-the-art aircraft to Air India’s fleet but also signifies India’s growing stature as a major player in the global aviation industry.

“The A350 is a game-changer for Air India,” said Cambell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Air India. “It will not only elevate our passenger experience but also open up new routes and opportunities for expansion. Together with the full interior refit of our legacy widebody aircraft beginning mid-2024, this upgradation of fleet and product is a key pillar of returning Air India to the upper echelons of world aviation.”

The arrival of the A350 coincides with a period of rapid growth and transformation for Air India. The airline is undergoing a comprehensive transformation aimed at renewing its fleet, expanding its global route network, enhancing its service offerings, and regaining its position as a global aviation leader.

Airbus A350, Equipped with powerful and fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, the Airbus A350 delivers optimal performance, environmental benefits, and superior passenger comfort. Its impressive range of up to 9,700nm (18,000 km) enables non-stop flights from India to destinations in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

The A350 offers wider cabins, larger windows, mood lighting, and advanced entertainment systems and comes with world-class cabin products, setting a new benchmark for passenger experience on Indian airlines. Air India’s A350-900 comes with 316 seats in a three-class cabin configuration.

Business class aboard Air India’s A350-900 features 28 private suites in a 1-2-1 configuration, each boasting direct aisle access and sliding privacy doors. At the touch of a button, the suite chairs convert into full-sized beds

Each suite has a personal wardrobe and ample stowage space for electronic devices, amenities, and shoes, as well as a conveniently located mirror, catering to every traveller’s needs. 21-inch HD touchscreen and video handset provide an immersive entertainment experience, while universal A/C and USB-A power outlets ensure mobile and electronic devices stay charged.

The exclusive Premium Economy cabin on Air India’s A350-900 has 24 wide seats arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration, offering ample legroom with 38 inches of seat pitch, 18.5 inches of seat width, and an 8-inch recline. Each seat has a 4-way adjustable headrest and leg rest with a foot paddle for customised comfort, a 13.3-inch HD touchscreen, and universal AC and USB-A power outlets.

Economy has 264 seats in a 3-4-3 configuration, each with 31 inches of seat pitch, 17.5 inches of seat width, 6 inches of recline, a 4-way adjustable headrest, and a 12-inch HD touchscreen for a comfortable yet stylish flying experience that delivers value for money.

Air India’s A350 enters commercial service on January 22, 2024, initially operating domestically for crew familiarisation on flights to and from Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. The aircraft will be subsequently deployed on international routes.

Air India’s first A350, registered VT-JRA, is the first of Air India’s 20 Airbus A350-900 on order, with five more scheduled for deliveries through March 2024. Air India’s orders for 250 new aircraft with Airbus include 20 A350-1000 as well.