Air India receives third A350; to operate it on Delhi – Mumbai corridor effective April 1, 2024.

A sales campaign launched in 2022 (and perhaps earlier) by Airbus finally culminated with Air India taking delivery of the airline’s first A350-900 aircraft in December 2023. The plane was flown into Delhi Airport. Since then, the airline has received two more A350-900 aircraft, with the third arriving in India on March 16, 2024.

Air India receives its third A350-900 aircraft.

VT-JRE, the third of 20 A350-900 aircraft ordered by the airline, was delivered to the airline and flown to Delhi. It was subsequently flown to Bengaluru to join VT-JRA and VT-JRB, which are based in Bengaluru.

Air India will operate familiarisation flights with the third A350-900 effective April 1, 2024.

As is the norm, when a new aircraft type enters the fleet, it is not directly sent for international operations. The cockpit crew needs to operate the flight domestically to gain some experience with the plane and familiarise themselves with it.

Similarly, Cabin Services need to be familiarised with the equipment on the aircraft, the service protocols, which might be different from those of other aircraft, and the safety procedures. There is also a regulatory requirement to have a certain number of takeoffs and landings before the aircraft flies out of the country on commercial operations.

One of the indications of why familiarisation is needed, for instance, is when, in the early days, there was trouble with the plane, and the airline had to substitute with a Boeing 787 to operate flights on one rotation.

Air India put VT-JRA into commercial service on January 22, 2024, and VT-JRB into commercial service on February 15, 2024. Both aircraft are based in Bengaluru and fly between Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. Once a week, they will fly between Bengaluru and Delhi for checks and maintenance. I flew all three cabins at one go, and so far, managed to write about the first leg in business class.

With the induction of the third such aircraft, the airline will start operating flights on its flagship domestic route, Mumbai –  Delhi and back. The first round trip operation will be operational effective April 1, 2024.

The schedule of flights is as follows.

  • AI 864 operating BOM – DEL / 0700 – 0915 / operates daily
  • AI 865 operating DEL – BOM / 1045 – 1250 / operates daily

The operation with the A350 will be double daily on the route, effective April 10, 2024. Here are the timings of the second flight.

  • AI 687 operating BOM – DEL / 1600 – 1830 / operates daily
  • AI 805 operating DEL – BOM / 2000 – 2225 / operates daily
a plane flying in the sky

VT-JRE Arriving into Delhi (Picture Credit: Sandeep Pilania)

Flights are on sale now.

What should you expect on board Air India’s A350-900?

Air India’s A350-900 aircraft comes in a three-class cabin configuration with 316 seats designed by Collins Aerospace: 28 private Business Class suites with full-flat beds, 24 Premium Economy seats with extra legroom and multiple other differentiating features, and 264 spacious Economy Class seats. All seats on the aircraft feature the latest-generation Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system and HD screens to provide a superior flying experience. You can read all about the products in the cabin in our detailed note. 

an airplane with rows of seats

Air India’s A350-900 Business Class

a row of seats in an airplane

Air India’s A350-900 Premium Economy Class

a row of red seats in an airplane

Air India’s A350-900 Economy Class

The aircraft is the third of Air India’s 20 Airbus A350-900s on order, with three more scheduled for deliveries through May 2024. Air India has firm orders with Airbus, for 250 new aircraft, including 20 A350-1000


Air India has put out domestic flights for sale, which will be operated with its third A350-900 aircraft, VT-JRE, between Mumbai and Delhi, twice daily. Book your tickets here.

Are you heading on one of the flights operated by Air India on their third A350-900 aircraft?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. When will Air India start a Chennai-London nonstop flight? British Airways has been operating one for years!

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