Air India to operate A350 on Domestic Routes effective January 22, 2024. Ticketing now open

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.

Air India receives its first A350-900 aircraft.

In 2023, Air India Group ordered the A350-900, which was paid for via the GIFT City subsidiary. The aircraft was supposed to be touched up on the inside, which would allow Air India to accept the aircraft into its fleet (it was earlier done up for Russia’s Aeroflot).

VT-JRA, the first of 20 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 at Delhi Airport.

a large white airplane on a runway

Air India’s A350-900 to appear at Wings India 2024

The A350-900 will fly down to Hyderabad for its first public appearance at the Wings India 2024 Aviation Event, which is organised in India every two years. It will be there for a couple of days (January 18-19, 2024) during the business days of the event.

Air India to operate familiarisation flights with the A350-900 in January and February 2024

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 aircraft 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.

Air India will put this aircraft into commercial service on January 22, 2024, and operate domestically through February 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.

The schedule of flights is as follows.

a table with a number of days and days

Flights are on sale now. You can book either leg of the rotation, for instance, Bengaluru – Chennai, except the flight will fly via Mumbai, so you are looking for many hours on the plane.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

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.

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 first of Air India’s 20 Airbus A350-900s on order, with five 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 first A350-900 aircraft, VT-JRA. The airline will work the routes between six domestic stations over about forty days. Seats are on sale.

Are you heading on one of the flights operated by Air India on their first 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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