Air India begins commercial operations of wide-body A350 aircraft

Mumbai: Private carrier Air India on Monday commenced the commercial operations of its first wide-body A350 aircraft with a flight taking off for Chennai from the Mumbai airport.

The 316-seater A350-900 aircraft has a three-class cabin configuration with 28 private business suites with full-flat beds, 24 premium economy and 264 economy seats.

“Air India flight AI-589 took off from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Monday for Chennai, with a full-capacity load of passengers,” the airline said in a statement.

The A350, which was showcased at the recent Wings India Global Aviation Summit in Hyderabad, provided the public with a preview of its in-flight entertainment (IFE) system and unique amenities, offering a glimpse into the enhanced travel experience it promises.

Scheduled every day except Tuesdays, AI 589 departs Bengaluru at 7.05 a.m. and arrives in Mumbai at 8.50 a.m. Initially, the aircraft will be deployed on domestic routes for crew familiarisation and regulatory compliance.

During this phase, passengers travelling between Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai will have the opportunity to experience the cutting-edge technology featured on the A350.

The subsequent phase will see the A350 being deployed on long-haul international flights, contributing to the expansion of Air India‚Äôs growing wide-body fleet, which includes both owned and recently leased aircraft. The A350-900 is part of Air India’s extensive order of 470 new aircraft placed less than a year ago.

Configured with a three-class cabin layout, the A350 accommodates 316 seats, including 28 private Business suites with full-flat beds, 24 Premium Economy seats offering extra legroom and additional amenities, and 264 spacious Economy seats.

All seats are equipped with the latest-generation Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system and HD screens. Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, the A350 boasts a remarkable 20 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to similar aircraft, contributing to reduced fuel emissions and sustainable operations.

On December 23, 2023, Air India welcomed its first Airbus A350-900, registered as VT-JRA, at IGI airport in Delhi. This marked the commencement of Air India’s ambitious 470-aircraft order, with a new aircraft scheduled to arrive every six days throughout 2024.