A sales campaign launched in 2022 (and perhaps earlier) by Airbus has 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. The airline has received its second A350-900 aircraft, which also arrived in India on February 3, 2024.
Air India receives its second A350-900 aircraft.
VT-JRB, the second of 20 A350-900 aircraft ordered by the airline, was delivered to the airline and flown to Delhi. If you fly out or into Delhi Airport, you can see the aircraft parked there.
Air India will operate familiarisation flights with the A350-900 from February 19, 2024 onwards.
As is the norm, when a new aircraft enters the fleet, it is not directly sent for international operations. The cockpit crew needs to operate the flight domestically to gain some experience on the plane and be familiarised with it.
Similarly, the Cabin Services need to be familiarised with the equipment on the aircraft, the service protocols, which might be different from the other aircraft, and the safety procedures. There is also a regulatory requirement to have a certain number of take-offs 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; it operates domestically through March 29, 2024. The aircraft will primarily be based in Bengaluru and fly between Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Once a week, it will fly between Bengaluru and Delhi for checks and maintenance.
VT-JRB will also be based at Bengaluru and operate between the same cities, except in a different rotation. The aircraft will enter commercial service on February 19, 2024.
The schedule of flights is as follows.
- AI 583 operating BLR – HYD – MAA – BLR
- BLR – HYD / 0710 – 0810
- HYD – MAA / 0925 – 1035
- MAA – BLR / 1205 – 1305
- AI 585 operating BLR – MAA – BOM – BLR
- BLR – MAA / 1435 – 1545
- MAA – BOM / 1700 – 1905
- BOM – BLR / 2020 – 2205
This routing will be operated on all days of the week except Wednesday, when the aircraft will head up to Delhi for maintenance checks, operating as AI 868 and AI 869.
- BLR – DEL / 0740 – 1030
- DEL – BLR / 1900 – 2150
Flights are on sale now. You can book either leg of the rotation, for instance, Bengaluru – Mumbai, except the flight will fly via Chennai, so you are looking for many hours on the plane.
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.
The aircraft is the second of Air India’s 20 Airbus A350-900s on order, with four more scheduled for deliveries through March 2024. Air India’s firm orders for 250 new aircraft with Airbus include 20 A350-1000.
Air India has put out domestic flights for sale, which will be operated with its second A350-900 aircraft, VT-JRB. The airline will work the routes between six domestic stations over about forty days. Book your tickets here.
Are you heading on one of the flights operated by Air India on their second A350-900 aircraft?
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