Air India selects Delhi-London Heathrow for first Airbus A350 long-haul flight

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

Air India has selected London-Heathrow Airport (LHW) in the United Kingdom (UK) as its first Airbus A350-900 long-haul flight destination. 

Air India announced on June 27, 2024, that the maiden long-haul flight will depart from Delhi on September 1, 2024, replacing the current Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on 14 of 17 weekly flights. 

The shift to the Airbus A350 will generate an extra 336 between Delhi and London each week, according to Air India.  

Air India’s first ever A350-900 flight with was between Bengaluru Kempegowda Airport (BLR) and Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport (BOM) on January 22, 2024.  

Around three months later on May 1, 2024, Air India’s first international flight took off from Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) to Dubai International Airport (DXB), a relatively short hop for a plane that can fly over 9,000 miles.    

Now the airline and staff are more familiar with the aircraft and flying internationally, Air India clearly felt it was in a good position to schedule its first long-haul flight.    

“The deployment of our flagship A350s and the B777s with upgraded cabin interiors to London Heathrow marks a significant milestone for Air India. It demonstrates our commitment to elevating the travel experience of our guests to truly world-class standards and to going beyond just meeting customer expectations as we continue to renew our fleet,” said Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Air India. 

The airline boss added: “With our industry-leading cabin products on the A350 including a new Premium Economy experience and a host of new on board enhancements rolling out, we are confident that these daily flights between India and London Heathrow will soon be the preferred choice for travelers.”  

The new route between Delhi and London-Heathrow will allow Air India to introduce its premium economy class on the service for the first time. 

Air India’s A350-900 aircraft 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.   

According to, Air India currently has six A350-900s in service and is awaiting delivery of 14 more as well as 20 of the larger A350-1000s.  

Air India’s first six A350-900s were originally earmarked for the Russian airline, Aeroflot. 

However, after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, sanctions subsequently put in place by Western nations meant that the completed A350s could not be delivered and became available for purchase.   

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