Air India’s first A350-900 aircraft arrives in Delhi; Fleet renewal commences

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.

Air India receives its first A350-900 aircraft in Delhi.

Earlier in 2023, Air India Group formally 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).

The first of six aircraft, undergoing various stages of readiness for Air India and a part of the 20 A350-900 ordered by the airline, flew into Delhi Airport in Air India’s new livery today. The aircraft is registered as VT-JRA.

The aircraft flew into Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport at 13:46 Hrs (local time) from the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France. It was given a water cannon salute on arrival in Delhi. 

a jet plane on a runway

The delivery flight, operated using a special call sign AI350, was welcomed by Air India staff, including CEO Campbell Wilson. Air India’s Senior Commander, Capt. Monika Batra Vaidya, among the first Indian pilots to be trained on the A350, was on board as an observer.

a group of people standing next to a plane

Air India, thus, became the airline to induct the first new widebody fleet type in India in more than a decade and the first Indian airline to fly the A350. Air India was also the first Indian airline to have inducted the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet type in 2012.

Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Air India, said:

This moment marks a red-letter day for all of us at Air India. The A350 is not just metal and engines; it’s the flying embodiment of the relentless efforts of all Air India employees towards our airline’s continuing transformation and of our commitment to setting new benchmarks. It is also, in many ways, a declaration of Indian aviation’s resurgence on the world stage.

As a symbol of the new age of flying, the A350 promises a world-class, long-haul travel experience on our non-stop routes, providing an unparallelled level of comfort. Its excellent flight economics and state-of-the-art technology underscore our dedication to commercially successful operations and to achieving our sustainability goals

Air India’s A350 will enter commercial service in January 2024, initially operating domestically for crew familiarisation, followed by longer-haul flying to destinations across continents. The schedule of commercial operations with the A350 will be announced in the coming weeks.

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.

Earlier this week, the airline started the rollout of its new global brand identity across guest touchpoints, having launched a new consumer-facing website and mobile app. Last week, the airline unveiled its new collection of cabin and cockpit crew uniforms designed by Indian celebrity couturier Manish Malhotra. Air India’s cabin crew and pilots will be seen in the new uniforms starting with the entry of service of the A350.


Air India has just flown into India, its first Airbus A350-900. Five more aircraft are scheduled to join the fleet by March 2024. This is the first newly delivered wide-body jet for the carrier in several years and also the first of the A350 plane types inducted by any airline in India.

What do you think of Air India’s new Airbus A350s?

Liked our articles and our efforts? Please pay an amount you are comfortable with; an amount you believe is the fair price for the content you have consumed. Please enter an amount in the box below and click on the button to pay; you can use Netbanking, Debit/Credit Cards, UPI, QR codes, or any Wallet to pay. Every contribution helps cover the cost of the content generated for your benefit.

(Important: to receive confirmation and details of your transaction, please enter a valid email address in the pop-up form that will appear after you click the ‘Pay Now’ button. For international transactions, use Paypal to process the transaction.)

We are not putting our articles behind any paywall where you are asked to pay before you read an article. We are asking you to pay after you have read the article if you are satisfied with the quality and our efforts.

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.

More articles by Ajay »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *