Air India’s first Airbus A350 commercial flight touches down in Mumbai  

Air India Airbus A350-900
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA)

The first ever Airbus A350-900 to join Air India’s fleet has completed its maiden commercial flight.  

The A350-900 widebody aircraft, registered VT-JRA, took off from Bengaluru Kempegowda Airport (BLR) on January 22, 2024, at 7.30am local time and touched down at Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport (BOM) just before 9am.  

The latest Air India jet was adorned in the airline’s new colors and branding, while onboard first time guests included aviation juggernaut Sam Chui.  

The flight not only represented an aviation first for the carrier but also for India, which has never had an Airbus A350 before.   

Before executing its maiden flight, the new aircraft was showcased at Wings India 2024, where the cabin interiors of its new fleet flagship were unveiled

Air India’s A350-900 aircraft will have a three-class cabin configuration with 316 seats: 28 private business suites with full-flat beds, 24 premium economy seats with extra legroom and other amenities, and 264 economy seats. 

VT-JRA is the first of 20 A350-900s on order that were originally earmarked for the Russian airline, Aeroflot.  

After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, sanctions subsequently imposed by Western countries meant that the completed A350s could not be delivered and became available for purchase. 

Air India’s firm orders for 250 new aircraft with Airbus also includes 20 of the larger A350-1000s.  

“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,” Campbell Wilson, CEO and Managing Director of Air India, previously said. 

Although capable of flying internationally the new A350 will first be used on domestic flights so that the flight crew can become familiar with the aircraft. 

Flight AI589 will operate everyday (except Tuesday) from BLR to BOM. The flights will take off at 7:05am and arrive in Mumbai at 8:50am. 

Five more A350-900s are scheduled to be delivered through March 2024. 

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