Air India is preparing to introduce the Airbus A350 into its operations later this year and has already started training its flight crews.
According to a report by the Hindu BusinessLine, Air India has begun training its pilots, cabin crews, and engineers to operate the Airbus A350. Employees at the now-privatized airline have visited various facilities to familiarize themselves with the aircraft. This includes pilots hopping on the simulator and engineers from other Air India group airlines training to maintain the A350, the report added.
Air India’s first Airbus A350s are expected to be delivered by the end of the year, according to an announcement made by the manufacturer when the airline firmed up its 40 options for the aircraft type during the Paris Air Show in June 2023.
In addition to the wide-body jets, the de facto Indian flag carrier also firmed up orders for 140 Airbus A320neo and 70 A321neo aircraft. Air India and Airbus jointly announced that the airline intended to order the aircraft in February 2023.
During the same Paris Air Show in June 2023, the airline also firmed up orders for a total of 290 Boeing aircraft: 190 737 MAX, 20 787, and 10 777X, as well as added options for 50 737 MAX and 20 787s.
The first Airbus A350s to arrive will be frames that were supposed to be delivered to Russia’s Aeroflot. However, per previous statements from Air India’s chief executive officer Campbell Wilson, the airline will keep the Russian airline’s cabins due to supply chain constraints.
Aeroflot was unable to take up the aircraft due to sanctions imposed on the country and its aerospace sector due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.