Earlier this year, Air India confirmed an order for 470 jets with Airbus and Boeing. As a part of the order, Airbus will be delivering six A350-900 aircraft to Air India, which were initially designated for Aeroflot, along with the original product selected. Air India will also receive 34 A350-1000 aircraft. However, those will be factory fresh and manufactured to Air India’s specifications. Air India is the first and only customer for the A350 widebody in India so far.
Air India is preparing to induct the first A350-900 by November 2023
Air India recently hired Sisira Kant Dash, who was earlier the Senior Vice President and Head of Engineering at Vistara and is now the Chief Technical Officer for Air India. He has been at Air India for over a month. He is the man in charge of bringing the Air India organisation to be able to induct and operate the A350 (from the technical readiness and entry into service perspective).
Hindu Businessline reports that the airline will induct the first A350-900 by November 2023. The following MSNs are currently known to be earmarked for Air India:
In fact, in June 2023, the first of these aircraft was also spotted at Toulouse without engines.
The airline has already sent some people over to Airbus for training on the equipment type and is looking forward to creating in-house technical capabilities for the aircraft, given there is no MRO service provider in India who is currently ready and has approval for the aircraft to be serviced in India.
These A350-900 aircraft feature a brand-new elegant cabin design. The aircraft has a spacious three-class cabin layout with 316 seats: 28 private Business Class suites with full-flat seats, 24 Comfort Class with extra legroom and 264 Economy Class. In addition, the aircraft has the Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system, HD screens and Wi-Fi connectivity. Here is a look at the seat map.
Air India’s A350-900 aircraft to feature a business class with doors
Air India will receive A350-900 aircraft with 28 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration and direct aisle access from all business class seats.
These are Collins Aerospace Horizon seats, similar to what Delta uses. The trims are pretty nice as well. Apart from some Air India branding, I expect a few changes to this cabin.
A bar area for business class passengers will also be right behind the cabin.
Premium Economy to feature 2-4-2 configuration, with a 3-3-3 configuration for Economy.
The premium economy seating on the A350s will be 2-4-2, making 24 seats. Some people may not like this configuration because of the 2-4-2, but it looks roomy. The seats used are the Collins Aerospace MIQ seats, which you can find on Vistara’s domestic business class on the A320neos as well.
And finally, the Economy looks good as well. At least the padding on the Collins Aerospace Aspire seats, in a 3-3-3 configuration, looks suitable for today’s era. The seat pitch will be 31 inches here.
Air India has six airframes already earmarked, and these should commence delivery in the second half of 2023, with Rolls Royce engines for all of them (as RR is the sole supplier of engines for the A350).
Air India will induct the first A350-900 aircraft by November 2023. As a part of the induction, Air India will continue with the same LOPA and product installed on board, which was initially to be delivered to Aeroflot itself. There will also be 28 1-2-1 configuration business class seats with doors on board. Air India is currently preparing for the induction of the aircraft.
What do you think of the new Air India A350-900 coming soon?
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